What are Fair Trade Diamonds?

Fair Trade

Nowadays, conscious consumers want to know how their products are sourced, from coffee to clothing and even jewelry. And when it comes to choosing the perfect engagement ring, they don’t want to support unethical mining practices. That’s why fair trade diamonds are gaining popularity in the diamond industry.

After all, nobody would like to associate their marriage with conflict of human rights, forced labor, abuses and violence. Fortunately, fair trade diamonds offer a solution to avoid supporting unethical diamonds and practices.

But what are “fair trade diamonds” exactly? How can diamonds be ethically sourced too? Are they the same as conflict-free diamonds? Keep reading to find the answer to all these questions and a few tips to identify fair trade diamonds!

What are Fair Trade Diamonds?

Like many other fair trade products, this term fair trade diamonds is used to describe diamonds that are mined under safe and fair labor conditions. Instead of exploiting workers, the extraction of fair trade diamonds guarantees that miners receive fair compensation for their work.

Fair trade diamonds are also known as ethically sourced diamonds, so there’s no difference between these terms. Besides improving the livelihoods of miners, fair trade diamonds come from mines that meet strict health, safety, and environmental regulations. So, ethically sourced diamonds are a better option for the environment as well!

Why are Ethically Sourced Diamonds Important?

fair trade diamonds
You might be wondering why fair trade diamonds are such a big deal now.

In simple words, fair trade diamonds are an ethical and sustainable alternative to conventional diamonds. And that’s because the extraction of conventional diamonds is linked to the exploitation of workers and devastating environmental problems.

While jewelry stores sell these luxury stones for high prices, some artisanal diamond diggers work under unsafe conditions for poverty wages. In fact, child labor and violence are common practices in unethical mining companies.The good news is that diamonds can be ethically sourced which means you can avoid all these ethical and environmental problems! Currently, the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) is working to transform artisanal diamond mining into an economically viable, socially, and environmentally responsible activity.

Are Conflict-free Diamonds the Same as Fair Trade Diamonds?

If you’ve been looking for these shiny and elegant stones, you’ve probably heard the term “conflict-free diamonds”. But is this another term to describe fair trade diamonds? The short answer: No, it is not.

So, what is the difference here?

According to the Kimberly Process (KP), “conflict diamonds” or “blood diamonds” are rough diamonds used to finance wars against governments. The Kimberly Process is a certification system that prevents these diamonds from ending up in jewelry stores. That’s why some jewelers will offer you “conflict-free diamonds”.

That said, there are some flaws in the Kimberly Process. Although conflict-free diamonds are not funding wars, this certification doesn’t address other ethical and environmental issues. As a result, it doesn’t take into account human rights abuses, worker exploitation, child labor, lack of proper mining equipment, environmental degradation, and other problems!

And that’s where ethically sourced diamonds come in. Let’s remember that fair trade diamonds come from ethical and environmentally responsible origins. So, ethical diamonds tackle more issues than conflict-free diamonds do.

How to Identify Ethical and Fair Trade Diamonds?

fair trade diamonds

Finding ethically sourced fair trade diamonds can be a difficult task if you don’t know how to identify them. But don’t worry! Below you will find a few tips to recognize fair trade diamonds:


Look for Companies Offering Fair Trade Jewelry

The easiest way to find fair trade diamonds is to buy them from reputable and ethical companies. So, before making a purchase, do your research. Remember that ethical companies should be able to provide information about their ethical standards and policies on jewelry sourcing.

Know The Origins Of Your Diamonds

The best way to make sure you’re buying fair trade diamonds is to know where they come from. Some countries have better practices than others. For that reason, make sure to opt for countries that meet strict ethical and environmental mining standards. Canada, for example, is a great fit for ethically sourced diamonds. And that’s because their ethical diamonds are completely traceable to their source.

If the company doesn’t know or can’t tell you where their diamonds came from, they might not be as ethical as they claim to be.

Watch Out For Vague Answers and Claims

Keep in mind that some companies will try to convince you to buy their diamonds, even if they aren’t ethical. That’s why it’s important to ask the right questions about their sourcing policies and ethical practices. If they give you vague answers regarding their “fair trade” diamonds, try to look for other options!

When looking for jewelry, take into consideration where it came from before making a purchase. This will help you find ethically sourced diamonds. If you don’t want to support unfair mining practices, violence, poor wages, unsafe working conditions, or environmental problems, make sure to opt for fair trade diamonds!

Interested in brands that offer ethical diamond, check out our article about Ethical Jewelry – Glamorous and Long-lasting to find your favorite fair trade diamond.

Resources:
Diamond Development Initiative (DDI)
NBC News – A diamond’s journey: Grim reality tarnishes glitter
Kimberly Process (KP)
               
Author: Thiri Zaw Yazawa
Member of Ethical Choice
Started my ethical journey with knowing the truth about pet shops and cafes. Enthusiastic to find interesting ethical products and ideas around the world. Always challenging myself to start small for bigger changes every day because there is no planet B.