Valentine’s Day is a classic occasion to celebrate loved ones with gifts of jewelry. Just make sure that your gift from the heart is ethical and environmentally responsible. Every day, millions of children and adults around the world are mining in horrendously unhealthful, poorly paid, and environmentally damaging conditions. In southern Africa diamonds are still being regularly smuggled to fund violent conflicts and corrupt government practices. Artisanal gold mines worldwide expose workers to dangerously high levels of mercury and keep child miners trapped in extreme poverty for their entire lives. In Burma, the government is funding its own egregious human rights violations with exports of rubies and jadeite.
It’s a good idea to ask the following questions in order to avoid loopholes.
1. What are your conflict diamond policies?
2. Where can I find your policy stated or published?
3. How do you define conflict free?
4. Do you provide official certification of conflict free status?
5. Where do your diamonds originate from? In what conditions are they mined, cut, and polished?
6. How are your diamonds tracked from the mine to cutting and polishing
to your store?
Look for a clear and definitive, conflict free diamond policy in writing or available to read online. The policy should not only cover Kimberley Process compliance, but should also address violence, child labor, environment standards. You should be confident that your diamond has been fully tracked and monitored, and has the independent certification to prove it.
This Valentine’s Day, make sure to check your jewelry sources and insist on a high level of transparency. Brilliant Earth is proud to carry recycled and fair trade gold, and ethically sourced diamonds, gemstones and precious metals. View our engagement ring and jewelry gift collections for romantic inspiration!