In addition to ethically-sourced jewels, you can also buy lab-grown diamonds | Source: Blue Nile Facebook

Buying Ethically Sourced Diamonds and Where to Find Them

Although the diamond industry is tainted with historical and ongoing human rights transgressions, environmental harm and conflict, jewellers have advanced to market unethically sourced diamonds. Fortunately, industry schemes like the Kimberley Process have been executed to decrease the prevalence of conflict diamonds, which effectively fund rebel groups, in the supply chain.

The concept of blood diamonds, a term coined by the UN in response to the civil wars supported by the diamond trade in Africa, is now widely disclosed. Amid a developing recognition and demand for sustainable and ethical consumption, many of us are choosing to shop from brands committed to fair working conditions, minimising the impact on the environment and ethical practice. Alongside ethically sourced diamonds, some people are opting to purchase lab-grown diamonds, with the sector growing in popularity, among ethically savvy buyers.

Brilliant Earth

Considered one of the leaders in ethically sourced diamonds, Brilliant Earth takes its diamond sourcing protocols beyond the Kimberley Process. Aptly named Beyond Conflict Free, Brilliant Earth offers diamonds that are sourced from ethical and environmentally responsible origins, meaning a Beyond Conflict Free Diamond doesn’t contribute to human rights abuses, irresponsible labour practices and environmental degradation- all aspects that aren’t covered in the Kimberley Process. You can also choose from a selection of lab-grown diamonds.

In ensuring transparency, Brilliant Earth also offers blockchain-enabled diamonds through its partnership with Everledger meaning the diamond supply chain is transparent and easily traceable.

Brilliant Earth is also a certified and audited member of the Responsible Jewelry Council, a peak body for ethical jewellery

Taylor & Hart

Founded on the belief that ‘transparency is the bedrock of sustainable design’, Taylor & Hart’s sourcing practices are centred around the Kimberley Process. In working with diamond-tracking companies, Diamond Time Place and Canadamark, Taylor & Hart weeds out conflict diamonds. In terms of ethics, the jewellers also actively exclude diamonds from Zimbabwe and Angola where labour rights and working conditions are generally not up to standard.

Along with natural diamond engagement rings and fine jewellery, Taylor & Hart also offers lab-grown diamonds but highlights its shortcomings stating: ‘due to the high emissions of certain producers, lab-grown diamonds can have a comparable climate impact on the earth as diamond mining’.

Blue Nile

Founded in 1999, Blue Nile is another e-tailer offering more ethically sourced diamonds than many of its competitors in the jewellery industry. With a zero-tolerance policy towards conflict diamonds, Blue Nile abides by the Kimberley Process and does not source diamonds from Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond district due to the reported human rights abuses in the area. The Blue Nile is also a signatory of Earthworks’ No Dirty Gold Golden Rules which strive to ensure ethical practice and a ‘high standard of environmental stewardship.

Aurate

Using 100 per cent recycled gold, sustainably harvested pearls and diamonds sourced according to the Kimberley Process, New York-based jewellery company Aurate is another great e-tailer you can feel good about buying from. According to Aurate’s website, their mines are run under ‘ethical and safe working conditions with fair wages and the utmost respect for the local indigenous communities.

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