If you’re looking to propose to your spouse, there’s a good chance you’ve started looking for engagement rings. A stunning and poignant symbol of your love for your partner, an engagement ring needs to be beautiful and stand the test of time – but for many, the looks and quality of the ring will be overlooked if they feel remorseful about how the diamonds were sourced.
As with all precious stones and materials, diamonds are mined from the earth using the same techniques we are all familiar with when it comes to coal and iron – and with this process comes many ethical problems, from the treatment of miners to the impact of poorly-planned mining on the environment and local communities.
Read on to find out more about why ethically sourced diamonds are so important in 2022 and how you can go about securing one for your perfect engagement ring.
Where can they be sourced?
Thankfully, over the past couple of decades, there have been huge efforts to both bring attention to the issue of ethical diamonds and to regulate the conditions of miners – as well as stopping the sourcing of ‘blood diamonds, which are often mined from war-torn countries who fund their conflicts with the stones.
The Kimberley Process was introduced by the World Diamond Congress in 2000 as a way of ensuring that all diamonds are ethically sourced, introducing checks at border controls to ensure that blood diamonds don’t reach the shelves.
This means there are a number of countries now known for their production of guilt-free diamonds, including Australia, Botswana, Canada, Namibia, South Africa, and Tanzania – while the rate of blood diamonds in circulation has plummeted from 20% in 1980 to under 1% in 2022.
There are also other consumer-led steps that can be taken to ensure that you have a guilt-free diamond. Sourcing local craftspeople with a reputation for ethical awareness will be safer than using mass-production companies in terms of both diamonds and workers’ rights. When it comes to custom made engagement rings Sydney leads the way with Australia’s stringent guidelines ensuring diamonds and workers are ethically treated.
Why are they important?
As mentioned above, ethically sourced diamond rings are important now more than ever – as the world continues to battle issues such as climate change and workers’ rights.
Despite the undeniable beauty of diamonds, the process of extracting them can be dangerous to both the workers involved and the local environment – quite a contrast to the finished product.
In the modern-day, consumers have enhanced awareness and expectations regarding these issues, meaning it is in the interest of all parties to practice ethically sourcing diamonds.
By sourcing ethical diamonds for their engagement rings, consumers are encouraging diamond mining companies to implement both holistic and environmental policy changes to better protect people, communities, and the environment.
There has also been a huge rise in the use of synthetic diamonds, which are only ever increasing in quality – although these come with their own ethical issues due to diverting trade from mineworkers and poor communities.