Conflict /Blood Diamonds are a Rebels Best Friend

diamond ringFor years diamonds have been synonymous with being a girls best friend. However, would any girl, or bride for that matter, still be drawn to its sparkle if she knew someone had died because of the ring on her finger?

Conflict diamonds, also known as Blood diamonds, are diamonds which have been mined in rebel-held areas of Africa including Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sierra Leone. The diamonds are then smuggled out of these countries and exported as part of the legitimate diamond trade. The money laundered through these ill gotten gains is then recirculated back into these countries to help fund the buying of weapons.

The conflicts have already cost the lives of an estimated 3.7 million people and although the wars have ended in Angola and Sierra Leone, the people of Cote d'Ivoire are still awaiting that luxury.

So how do you know if the diamonds you purchased are not conflict diamonds?

There are 45 participants, including the European Community, that have signed up to the Kimberley Process >>, a voluntary scheme set up to stop the trade in conflict diamonds. The problem though is that this scheme is not compulsory and with the diamond industry being worth a cool $60 billion a year, it is proving increasing difficult to police the illegal traffic of conflict diamonds.

As the consumer you can play your part in helping to stem the flow of these diamonds when buying your wedding ring ;

  • Always buying from a reputable dealer.
  • Asking the retails where their diamonds were imported from.
  • Ask for a written guarantee that the diamonds are conflict-free.

If you are in any doubt, buy your diamonds from somewhere else.

If you would like further information on conflict diamonds they visit Amnesty >>