Q: I see companies selling "conflict-free Canadian diamonds". Are Canadian diamonds conflict-free?
No, At The Greener Diamond we believe there is no such thing as a "conflict-free" diamond if it was mined from the earth, when you consider all the environmental, humanity and ethical destruction. A used heirloom, or "recycled" diamond is the best earth-mined diamond option, however, most jewelers would not buy or sell a used diamond.
Q: Does The Greener Diamond accept donations?
No, The Greener Diamond does not accept donations. We identify communities with the greatest need and direct the charitable funds of our sponsor, MiaDonna & Co., LLC. Click here to be directed to our "What You Can Do" page under Consumer Resources for further information on recommended charitable organizations.
Q: Does The Greener Diamond have a political agenda?
No, The Greener Diamond has no political affiliations. We originated from the perspective of the consumer and the impact consumer demand plays in the role of the conflict diamond.
Q: What questions should I ask my traditional diamond jeweler?
That is a great question! Here are some suggested questions to consider asking:
How can I be sure that none of your jewelry contains conflict diamonds?
Do you know where the diamonds you sell come from?
Can I see a copy of your company's policy on conflict diamonds?
Can you show me a written guarantee from your diamond suppliers stating that your diamonds are "conflict-free"?
DON'T SETTLE FOR THE "KIMBERLEY PROCESS" ANSWER - IT DOES NOT CERTIFY THAT YOUR DIAMOND IS CONFLICT-FREE!
Q: What are all of my conflict-free diamond alternatives?
The technology in Diamond Science is forever advancing and perfecting. We can make crystallized carbon (aka Diamond) in a modern day lab environment. The traditional diamond industry is based on old ideas and old traditions. There is now no need to stir up the earth and controversy to have a diamond. Click here for your diamond alternative options.
Q: What about gold and other “conflict” natural resources?
There are many other conflict natural resources. For example, the mining of gold can displace communities, contaminate drinking water, hurt workers, and generate heaps of waste, leaving a long-lasting scar on landscapes and communities. Mining also contaminates ecosystems with toxic waste which results in widespread water pollution. Cyanide and mercury, two highly toxic substances, have been released freely into the environment as a result of dirty gold mining practices for decades.
Other common products containing conflicted resources include: cell phones, laptops, oil products and paper products. Click here to see more on conflict natural resources. http://www.premadescripts.com/wbdg/pages/about-conflict-diamonds/other-conflict-natural-resources.php
MiaDonna and Company only uses recycled gold for their jewelry settings.
Q: My partner wants a conflict-free alternative, however, I am really worried what others will think. What if people question my intentions, think I didn't spend enough, or think that it's fake?
Marketing has made you feel like this. Media messages have influenced our culture and created several generations of people who believe that love, responsibility, intention, sincerity and other values are connected to a mineral - this is simply not true. Modern experts from psychologists to spiritual leaders are fairly congruent in the belief that lasting and meaningful relationships are not based on material goods.
Here is an example of a DeBeers marketing plan:
Recent techniques for creating high quality real diamonds in a laboratory setting have become a threat to the pricing of natural diamonds. DeBeers has decided to defend their market by taking the following action - A marketing campaign will be aimed at convincing potential customers that laboratory diamonds are "fake" (even though they are real diamonds, and potentially may be of higher quality than natural diamonds). http://priceofdiamonds.org/debeers_diamonds.shtml
Q: What about Botswana Diamonds?
Botswana is frequently cited as an exception to the above question, as the country relies heavily on diamonds of revenue. Yet, Botswana faces significant economic development challenges. Unemployment is high, and nearly a quarter of the population lives on less than US$1 a day, and there has been little effort to diversify the economy. Making it very susceptible to the "resource curse" (hyperlink to this question: Doesn't buying diamonds support their economy? If I don't by diamonds aren't we hurting those local communities?). Botswana, however does benefit from diamonds more than many African diamond rich countries.
Q: Who benefits from diamonds in Africa?
Diamonds have directly funded wars in Africa that have destroyed lives, and contributed to the killing, maiming and displacing of millions and wrecking economies. In many other diamond rich countries in Africa, diamonds have failed to contribute positively to development. Little benefit goes to those that need it most, including the million or more artisanal diamond miners and their communities often live in conditions of dire poverty. Many diamond-rich countries are extremely poor and people are not benefiting from the wealth in their soil. The main people and organizations that benefit from the wealth of diamonds are, the mining companies (which are internationally owned, the majority of the time), diamond dealers and the international diamond consumer.
Q: Doesn't buying diamonds support their economy? If I don't buy diamonds aren't we hurting those local communities?
The percentage of countries that actually benefit from diamond sales is extremely low. Most governments ask mining companies to give them 3% of the profits of what they mine. (This is only regulated if there is a government in power. If a country is in civil war, mining companies do not need to pay this, hence another reason why war is big business.) Unfortunately the majority of the time the local people will NEVER see this money. We at The Greener Diamond believe that the way Natural Resources in sub-Saharan Africa are managed by their country and the international community, is not benefiting the local community.
I [Anna-Mieke Anderson] asked the local government in Sierra Leone about the money they get from mining companies. I was told, "There is a trickle down process and it will get to the local people eventually." However, when I asked the local people about this, they responded, "We never have and never will see that money, the supply chains are too corrupt."
Also, when a country relies on just one income source (such as one natural resource), they suffer from the "resource curse." This refers to the paradox that countries and regions with an abundance of natural resources, specifically point-source non-renewable resources like minerals and fuels, tend to have less economic growth and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources. This is hypothesized to happen for many different reasons, including a decline in the competitiveness of other economic sectors (caused by appreciation of the real exchange rate as resource revenues enter an economy), volatility of revenues from the natural resource sector due to exposure to global commodity market swings, government mismanagement of resources, or weak, ineffectual, unstable or corrupt institutions (possibly due to the easily diverted actual or anticipated revenue stream from extractive activities).
Q: Aren’t all diamonds guaranteed conflict-free because of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS)?
No. In theory the Kimberley Process would be a great idea for addressing the ethical impact surrounding conflict diamonds. The greatest drawback to the Kimberley Process is the lack of enforcement or regulation. Any claim that the Kimberley Process guarantees the consumer that they’re purchasing a clean diamond cannot be verified with substantial direct or indirect evidence. It has now been proven that the Kimberley Process has failed us.
Q: Why should I care about this [The Greener Diamond]?
Every time you spend or invest a dollar, it goes to work in the world. Too often, it goes to support institutions and corporations that perpetuate injustice, pollute the environment and destroy communities. However, we CAN change that! Real change comes from consumers making a more educated choice with the products we purchase and to reduce the excessiveness of products purchased. We, at The Greener Diamond, believe that if consumers knew the ramifications of the products they purchase and the power behind their buying decisions, they would make different choices.
Q: There are so many people in my own country that need help, why should I care about Africa?
The Greener Diamond recognizes that there are horrible atrocities being suffered around the world and we applaud efforts being made by organizations leading the way for change with issues unrelated to the diamond trade.
Our focus is on the injustices related to conflict diamonds, gems and precious metals. The average diamond consumer, women in western society, have unknowingly fueled the enormous power of the conflict diamond by simply purchasing diamond jewelry. The Greener Diamond believes that the average diamond consumer would be encouraged to support efforts to rebuild the lives of those who have suffered at the hands of the diamond trade, knowing what devastation has been caused by the western world's consumption of diamonds. That does not mean that The Greener Diamond or its sponsor, MiaDonna, do not ever contribute to causes in their own local communities (past contributions include Oregon Food Bank, March of Dimes, Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Children's Cancer Association).
Statistics show, 70% of women in America own at least one earth-mined diamond. Coincidentally, 50% of all diamonds end up in America. Essentially we have created the demand and fueled the human and environmental atrocities associated to getting these diamonds to us. It is time to clean up our mess.
Q: Doesn't my government outlaw unethical/illegal products?
No, at this point, no effective system has been established or enforced. In fact, through the Kimberley Process, illicit diamonds are even more successfully laundered under a system of unaccountable "checks and balances."
Q: Is there such a thing as a clean earth-mined diamond?
No. At The Greener Diamond we believe there is no such thing as a "clean" earth-mined diamond, when you consider all the environmental, humanity and ethical aspects. A used heirloom, or "recycled" diamond is the best earth-mined diamond option, however, most jewelers would not buy or sell a used diamond.