Ethical Diamonds: Everything You Need to Know

QUICK LINKS: What are Ethical Diamonds? | What does Ethical Jewellery mean? | Are non-ethical diamonds called blood diamonds? | Are blood diamonds still an issue? | Diamond Industry: Environmental & Sustainability Initiatives | What are diamond companies doing about environmental issues? | Are lab-grown diamonds environmentally friendly? | Ethical & Sustainable jewellery in Adelaide |

When you take the time to design your custom jewellery, it stands to reason that you choose diamonds that are not only beautiful but also sourced ethically.

Leading diamond producers are also investing directly back into their mining communities and creating sustainable environmental programs to rehabilitate the earth they mine from.

Let’s delve into what this means for your diamond.

What are ethical diamonds?

Ethical diamonds are diamonds sourced from conflict-free communities, have a minimal environmental impact, and have been mined by people benefiting from fair pay and safe working conditions.

When we hand-select your diamonds, we carefully choose suppliers that follow these strict standards and only source ethical diamonds. We do not support trade with non-ethical or ‘conflict’ diamonds.

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What does ethical jewellery mean?

It’s a piece of sustainable jewellery handcrafted with gemstones verified for their origin and measured against these essential points listed above. Knowing where your diamond comes from is vital to ensure it was mined in a conflict-free and safe area and if the community benefits financially, environmentally and holistically.

So, how do you know if your diamond is ethical? Let’s examine what the industry is doing to eliminate non-ethical diamonds.

Are non-ethical diamonds called blood diamonds?

Yes, non-ethical diamonds are known as ‘conflict’ or more commonly referred to as ‘blood diamonds’. The term ‘blood diamonds’ was formulated by the United Nations during the 1990s. It is defined as any diamond mined in areas controlled by forces opposed to the country’s legitimate government and is sold to fund military action against that government.

During this time, brutal civil war raged in parts of Africa, with rebel groups forcing long-suffering civilians to mine in unsafe and terrible conditions. These diamonds flooded the market, and their proceeds funded more violent unrest and war.

Are blood diamonds still an issue?

After worldwide concern highlighted the need to verify a diamond’s origin, trade associations and human rights groups joined forces with the UN to establish the Kimberley Process in the 2000s.

This action drastically reduced the distribution of conflict diamonds and continues over twenty years later to actively prevent 99.8% of blood diamonds from entering the global market.

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We believe strongly in the efforts to eradicate blood diamonds. All our Bell & Brunt diamonds are sourced through reputable suppliers that strictly adhere to the UN and Kimberley Processes.

Do you know if your jeweller follows the Kimberley Process? Ask them the question! The Kimberley Process ensures that every diamond is verified as conflict-free. 

Diamond industry: environmental & sustainability initiatives

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Sustainability is also a vital factor to consider when purchasing a diamond. Large-scale diamond mining companies continually develop environmental management, monitoring, and protection plans with local governments and communities.

Natural diamond companies recycle around 84% of the water utilised in diamond mining, and 99% of the waste produced is only rock. They also create approximately $16 billion of benefits annually for employees, communities, and their environmental initiatives —and local communities retain 80% of these benefits.

What are diamond companies doing about environmental issues?

De Beers is making solid commitments to reducing CO2 emissions and achieve complete carbon neutrality by 2030 with renewable energy sources such as wind and hydropower and pioneering carbon capture technology. The 12 goals set by their ‘Building Forever’ initiative focus on community health education and livelihoods, environmental protections, accelerating equal opportunities and leading ethical changes across the industry.

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Another example of ongoing environmental initiatives is the Diavik diamond mine in Canada. In 2012 they installed a hybrid wind farm and reduced their carbon emissions by a staggering 10,500 tons. The energy generated supplements the mine’s energy needs and replaces 900,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually.

Are Lab-grown diamonds environmentally friendly?

The direct answer is NO. Lab-grown diamonds have been marketed as an environmentally sound alternative to natural diamonds. But although a tiny percentage are investing in hydropower to supplement their energy usage, the majority still heavily rely on coal. 

The immense heat and pressure needed to create a lab-grown diamond cause considerable carbon emissions, with vast amounts of water required to cool the reactors after producing a lab-grown diamond. The CO2 emissions only grow as output increases due to customer demand. 

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And unlike leading natural diamond companies, lab-grown diamond companies do not invest back into the local communities or in carbon reduction initiatives. Instead, all their profits go to their directors and shareholders.

The environmental goals the natural diamond industry has already implemented and is planning to reach will continue to create a sustainable diamond journey for today and our future.

Ethical & Sustainable Jewellery in Adelaide

At Bell & Brunt, we pride ourselves on sustainable jewellery. We offer ethically sourced natural diamonds and support community programs and global environmental efforts from leading diamond producers.

From the mine to the market, we stringently work with our gemstone suppliers to source diamonds and gemstones that follow the strictest ethical, environmental, fair work and pay standards globally.

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We hand-make our jewellery in our Adelaide Jewellery Studio instead of cast or CAD jewellery manufactured in massive factories overseas, which causes significant carbon emissions. Thus, reducing our carbon footprint and ensuring your ring is finished to perfection.

Our team strives to be informed and educated on all ethical jewellery industry standards. Your custom jewellery creation with us is meaningful. To know our jewellery making process, visit our Custom Process page. 

Book a consultation with our diamond experts for your peace of mind today.

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