Conflict-free diamonds are ethical diamonds
At the same time as the SDGs are sought after worldwide, it has become more important than ever that the diamonds we hold are sustainable.
Customers are increasingly demanding transparent diamonds, where the accessibility of product information plays a major role in the purchasing process.
At R ETHICAL, we believe that you are not just buying a diamond. Customers are looking for beautiful diamonds in terms of carat, color, clarity, and cut, and at the same time, they are trusting us with their sourcing and choosing us. Traceability and sustainability are top priorities when tailoring carefully selected diamonds into jewellery.
The high-quality, sparkling jewelry that R ETHICAL delivers is based on where it was born. Think of fine jewelry that you purchase at important times in your life as a work of art, and think of diamonds as artists.
If art critics cannot prove the authenticity of a work, the work loses its value. In the world of art, it is an important element called provenance.
What about the world of diamonds? The GIA, a global non-profit organization (Gemological Institute of America), describes the characteristics of diamonds. However, in most cases it is not possible to identify the mine. If you look around the world, it is mined in many countries, including India, Brazil, South Africa, and Russia. Although the active mines have changed over time, the process of being distributed around the world, going through the process of cutting, polishing, and sorting, and ending up in the hands of wealthy people remains unchanged.
In the process, unethical companies mistreat and exploit labor. There are also "conflict diamonds," diamonds that can easily be used to fund conflict activities and violent activities of non-governmental organizations.
On the other hand, there are many companies that pride themselves on ethical philosophies, such as treating workers ethically at mining sites and mining in an environmentally friendly manner. As a trend of the times, organizations and jewelry brands have been promoting a system in which the workers who actually dig diamonds are treated appropriately and receive fair compensation for their work.
When choosing a diamond for an important milestone in your life, ask yourself the following questions:
- Where and how were diamonds obtained?
- Can authenticity be confirmed?
R ETHICAL's top priority is to deliver all natural diamonds to our customers. Ethically sourced, professionally graded and independently verified, we have not only the highest quality, but also the most ethically sourced diamonds.
We provide a Canada Mark warranty along with a GIA warranty.
In order to build trust, each individual's way of thinking and consumption behavior will change the future. I believe that the industry, and the Japanese jewelry industry itself, can contribute to a better future as the times change.
Diamond industry challenges
Confusion about traceability leads to misunderstandings and ultimately customer regret. This is because some diamond wholesalers may (inadvertently or otherwise) confuse their customers.
The jewelry industry uses industry standard and technical terminology that consumers are not often exposed to. One example that comes to mind is the difference between "origin" and "provenance." This is to assure customers that the diamonds are shipped from a location known for their high quality.
However, diamond wholesalers, especially in Japan, often do not have documentation or concrete evidence to back up their diamonds. A diamond's origin refers to the exact location where the diamond was mined. A diamond's provenance includes all the regions and countries it has traveled to.
If a brand is unable to provide its origin, the diamond's authenticity remains in question, despite its claimed origin. If you have the opportunity, we recommend asking questions about where the diamond came from and its country of origin.
-Where were the diamonds mined?
- Was it responsibly mined?
Our wonderful customers who read R ETHICAL articles appreciate the value of ethical, natural, and conflict-free diamonds. We want to eliminate diamonds mined in war zones and sold to fund rebels and warlords, known as "conflict diamonds."
There are many challenges to ensuring the authenticity of diamonds worldwide due to the nature of the industry, which involves a series of complex processes such as mining, cutting, polishing, and sorting. Currently, 7% of diamonds sold on the global market are not natural, and experts say that percentage is likely to be very high and will increase by 2030.
Now the jewelry industry needs better traceability technology.
Consumers, now more than ever, expect honesty.
When the accessibility of product information plays a huge role during the purchasing process, brands
that are transparent with their customer base are favored over companies that put minimal effort into communication.
This is true for practically every industry—even our own.
That's why at R ETHICAL, we believe our independent customers aren't just buying
beautiful diamonds, they're buying trust.
Here's why traceability and sustainability are core priorities when obtaining our select range of diamonds.
Firstly, What Is Traceability?
Luxury items are, by design, defined by their traceability.
Think of a piece of fine jewelry as a work of art, and the diamond as the artist.
If an art critic cannot establish the authenticity of a work (known as provenance in the art industry), then
the piece loses its value.
In the diamond world, there's an added layer of mining, with ethical companies spending millions on
ensuring workers who obtain stones are treated and paid fairly for their work. Non-ethical companies do the opposite.
That's why, before people buy their diamonds, people want to know these things:
- Where and how the stones were obtained.
- If their authenticity can be verified.
When the answers to these questions are vague, there's little incentive for clients to put their trust in jewelers.
At R ETHICAL our first priority is ensuring every natural diamond sent to our clients, are ethically sourced, professionally graded, and individually verified so that they can be sure they're investing in not only the highest quality but most ethically sourced diamonds available.
The Challenge Buyers Face
Confusion over traceability can lead to misunderstandings which then, eventually, can lead to buyer's remorse.
This is because some diamond sellers may (inadvertently or otherwise) confuse their customers by using industry-standard terms and technical language that the average consumer isn't often exposed to.
It's up to industry experts like us at Vantyghem Diamonds to help our retail partners by informing and educating them as best we can. The more forthcoming we are about our products, the more we nurture their trust in us.
One example that comes to mind is the difference between "origin" and "provenance."
This is meant to assure the customer that the diamond was shipped from a place known for, say, quality diamonds and safe working conditions.
However, they often do not have the papers or tangible proof to back up their claim.
A diamond's origin refers to the exact location where the diamond was mined.
A diamond's provenance, on the other hand, includes all the regions and countries that the diamond went through before it landed in the customer's hands.
If a retailer cannot provide provenance, the authenticity of the diamond—despite its claimed origin—becomes questionable. When given the chance, we would urge consumers to ask about both a diamond's provenance and its origin.
The Deeper Story
Despite many companies claiming "full transparency" with their sales, the truly important information is kept from the customer. For instance, where was the diamond mined? Was it responsibly mined?
Most well-meaning consumers are after "ethical," "natural," and/or "conflict-free" diamonds. They don't want diamonds that have been mined in known warzones and sold to finance insurgent or warlord activities, known as " conflict diamonds.”
A fraction of customers might also be concerned with the authenticity of the stone. An estimated 7% of diamonds sold on the market today are not natural, and experts say that the percentage could be much higher by 2030.
The industry needs better traceability technology for the sake of the consumers and the trade.