Conflict Diamonds - What You Need to Know

We love the beauty of diamonds. We love their sparkle and the dreams they represent, but at what cost? Newly mined diamonds don’t just come with a high price tag, they also come with high price to the earth and humanity. And...that is not a price most of us are willing to pay.

Diamond consumers need to know the unfortunate truth. Conflict diamonds are not just a problem of the past – they still have a major presence in today's society. Conflict diamonds are continuing to flood out of Africa as well as other countries rich in diamonds like Brazil, Russia and India. Over the last five years, 48 million carats of confirmed blood diamonds hit the international diamond market and are now being purchased by unassuming consumers.

Despite what the earth-mined diamond industry wants you to believe, the mining, distribution and sale of conflict diamonds is a still a major issue that needs to be addressed. TENS OF THOUSANDS of women, children and infants are being raped and tortured by rebels who are still known to be using conflict-diamonds as a source of funding.

“I will never forget what an elder told me when I was in Liberia, desperately he said “Please leave our diamonds in the ground, then we will learn to get along.” - Anna-Mieke Anderson, CEO and Founder of MiaDonna & Company and The Greener Diamond Foundation.

Consumers need to use their economic power to push for socially and environmentally responsible businesses. By doing so, you’ll help put our global society on a more sustainable path.

It is important that consumers make educated purchases. We cannot stress enough how important this is. Every purchase you make supports something. You can either support a corporation that exploits people, animals and the environment, or you can buy items from philanthropic companies who help their local communities and invest in the world. The choice is yours.

What is a Conflict Diamond?

The conflict diamond definition, as per the Kimberley Process, is a “Rough diamond mined in an area controlled by insurgent forces whose sale is used to finance anti-government military action.” This current definition of a “conflict diamond” does not include the humanitarian impact or the negative environmental consequences of mining diamonds.

At MiaDonna we feel it is important to define a conflict diamond in a far broader scope, incorporating the protection of the environment as well as the native communities who live in these areas and are often forced to mine for diamonds.

Our Definition

A conflict diamond is any diamond that is unsustainable, thereby contributing to a negative impact on the environment, society and/or the economy.

The Problem with The Kimberley Certification Process (KPCS)

International policies cannot GUARANTEE a conflict-free diamond trade and rebels, governments and terrorist groups continue to fund acts of terror with diamonds. It’s unfortunate that retailers selling earth-mined diamonds still use the Kimberley Process to comfort consumers who have concerns about conflict diamonds and it’s even more unfortunate that consumers are still falling for it. It has been proven time and time again that the Kimberley Process has failed.

The main problem is that the definition of a ‘conflict-diamond’ is too narrow. The conflict diamond definition, as per the KPCS, is a “Rough diamond mined in an area controlled by insurgent forces whose sale is used to finance anti-government military action”. This means that the diamonds mined, for example, in Zimbabwe which is notorious for killing, raping and maiming hundreds of artisanal miners are considered “conflict-free” under the KPCS. This is because, despite being mined under horrific conditions, they did not fund armed forces. These “dirty diamonds” are being certified by the Kimberley Process, making them “clean” and then sold to unassuming diamond consumers who think they are purchasing “conflict-free” stones.

Canadian Diamonds

Even though they are marketed otherwise, Canadian Diamonds are not conflict-free, especially when it comes to the environment. Canadian diamonds are mined in environmentally fragile ecosystems, have significant ecological footprints, and greatly impact local wildlife - a vital source of food for aboriginal cultures. In Canada, the federal, provincial and territorial regulatory frameworks are inadequate to protect the environment from long-term and cumulative environmental effects.

The Environmental Impact

The destruction left behind when mining a diamond (or gold) can not be justified. There are some mining companies, in some countries, that are required to follow environmental and rehabilitation codes, ensuring the mined area is returned as “CLOSE” to its original state as possible. BUT... how can you fill in an open-pit diamond mine that is over 300 miles in depth? And then there are the areas that have no regulations at all. It is easy to see why we feel it is so important that the definition of a conflict diamond is redefined to include the protection of the environment.

  • 1750 tons of earth has to be extracted to find a 1.0ct rough diamond and consumer demand for larger diamonds is on the rise. The average engagement ring diamond size in 1920 was 0.30ct and today that has grown to a 1.25ct, putting more stress on the environment.
  • 20 tons of mined waste is produced to make one gold ring to hold that diamond. The earth mined ore is mixed with cyanide, a known toxic poison, to dissolve the gold or silver from the ore, poisoning the land and waterways around the mining area.
  • Water supply contamination, resulting from leakage of chemicals, also affects the health of the local population and is a huge problem.
  • Size matters! Too put the magnitude of some of these mines into perspective...The largest Australian diamond mine is the size of Japan.

At MiaDonna we believe that there is no such thing as a conflict-free diamond if it was mined from the earth.

MiaDonna is the Solution

MiaDonna was founded by consumers. Consumers that were fed up with the lives and land being destroyed for our love of diamonds and the misleading information set forth by mining companies.

We pledge to be an advocate for diamond mining communities, societies and the earth.

An Advocate for Diamond Mining Communities:
Diamonds have directly funded wars and contributed to the killing, maiming and displacing of millions of people as well as devastating their local economies. Many diamond-rich countries are extremely poor and people are not benefiting from the wealth in their soil. We are an advocate for these people.

An Advocate for Global Societies:
This is you and us; the diamond consumer. We don’t answer to shareholders, board members or mining companies. We promise to be transparent and do things right by you, for you. We are free from the diamond monopoly and we price our diamonds in a fair manner.

An Advocate for the Earth:
We are an advocate for the earth by only selling grown diamonds, gems and precious metals that are not newly mined.

  • Diamonds and Gems: Either made in a modern day lab-environment or an heirloom diamond so we know the origin and reduce the detrimental mining impacts.
  • Precious Metals: In this day and age there is no need to mine for these commodities. Every setting is handcrafted using only the finest eco-friendly (recycled) solid gold, 950 pure platinum or 950 pure palladium from refineries that represent our commitment to the earth.
  • We plant a tree through the Nature Conservatory for every order placed. Operating in such a sustainable manner has rewarded us with the ‘Seal of Approval’ from Green America.

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