An Open Letter to Mothers

Article by Anna-Mieke
Anna-Mieke Anderson

Dear Mothers, Sisters, Wives, Girlfriends ... Diamond Lovers:

For over a decade I have lead MiaDonna & Company, the original laboratory-grown diamond retailer, with passion and the purpose of creating a greener diamond industry for all. However, the time has come where I can no longer do this alone, and I am asking for your help. I am not writing this letter to you as a business tycoon or a third generation diamond dealer, nor have I come into this industry from a place of privilege. I write this to you simply as a mother to a mother.

Twelve years ago I found out I had most likely purchased a conflict earth-mined diamond. After doing intense research, the mental images of children being hurt as a result of my diamond purchase horrified me. I chose to take that ring off and sponsor a boy in Liberia, Africa and it was through our letters that I got a first-hand look into a diamond mining community through the eyes of a child. I will never forget the day he wrote to me and said, “I had a great summer because only one of my classmates was killed." He was only 7-years-old. That moment right there changed my life forever. As a mother, I could not let this continue, so I made a choice to no longer be part of the problem. Now, a decade later, I am leading this greener, conflict-free diamond movement, which is why I am calling on women to help.

Blood Diamonds are a woman's issue - Anna-Mieke Anderson

Approximately half of the world's earth-mined diamonds end up in America, where roughly 70% of all women own at least one. That is over 150 million diamond wearing women. Who would have guessed that we, the wives, sisters, and mothers of America, the ones that are hardwired to protect children, are unknowingly and unintentionally hurting a whole generation of children by being the driving force behind the sale of earth-mined diamonds.

The harvesting and trading of conflict diamonds, gold, and gems is not only a problem of the past. Studies show that even today, approximately 1 in 4 diamonds have been mined under horrific conditions, and that is not including the diamonds smuggled out that are not accounted for or the irreversible damage mining does to the earth. Many children, women, and men are still caught in the middle of horrific acts of violence and corruption, over the fight for the wealth within their soil.

During my trips to Africa, I have experienced this first-hand. I have felt the fear they feel on a daily basis. I have held malnourished babies in my arms. I have tried to comfort a 9-year-old boy who only wants “peace.” I have been thrown out of Sierra Leone and had to run for my life back to Liberia. I have bribed my way out of unofficial border crossings. I have cried with reformed child soldiers who told me the unimaginable crimes they have committed. I have wept with teen girls who have shared tragic stories of being gang-raped or watching as their parents and siblings are murdered right in front of them. There are too many children telling similar stories of pain. They deserve to have their stories changed, so they can thrive instead of just survive. It is us women who hold the greatest power to bring these children peace by making one simple purchasing decision.

 

First, you need to know the truth behind the current marketing strategy set forth by the earth-mined diamond industry;

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme(KPCS).
In most jewelry stores if you ask for a conflict-free diamond you will be told, [Old man’s voice] “Our diamonds are certified to be conflict-free by the Kimberley Process.” Let me explain: the KPCS definition of a conflict diamond is a: "rough diamond mined in an area controlled by insurgent forces and used to fund war."

This means someone still could have been enslaved, tortured, raped, beaten, or killed to mine that diamond and it is marketed to you as a conflict-FREE diamond because it didn’t directly fund war. For example, the diamonds currently coming out of Zimbabwe, Angola, and Congo, which is notorious for killing, raping and maiming hundreds of artisanal miners are considered “conflict-free” under the KPCS. This is not okay with me, and I hope it’s not okay with you. Industries driven by short-term financial gains at the long-term cost to people and the planet is simply no longer acceptable.

It doesn't have to be this way anymore because we can now grow diamonds in a modern-day lab environment without negatively harming native communities, societies or the earth. Diamond mining is an outdated industry and not right for today's woman. We know better now, and we have a modern-day solution. Lab-grown diamonds are diamonds; optically, physically and chemically identical to earth-mined diamonds but do not cost a fortune and more importantly, did not cost someone their life.

Anna-Mieke Anderson showing off the largest, grown-in-the-USA, Lab-diamond.

There is now a new generation rising in the diamond industry, a sustainable eco-conscious diamond that is made in a safe, modern-day lab environment. It is time for change, and I am confident that women can be the driving force behind this movement by choosing lab-grown diamonds. When the time comes for you to upgrade your diamond earrings or put a ring on your finger, only accept a truly eco-friendly and conflict-free diamond, one that is grown in a lab. We can use our economic buying power to change the world. By choosing to purchase lab-created diamonds from a social enterprise company like MiaDonna over an earth-mined diamond, you WILL help empower a child in a diamond mining community to live a life free of poverty. MiaDonna donates 5% from every purchase to our foundation, The Greener Diamond, where we support African communities to grow food, go to school and start a business instead of mining for diamonds. The diamond industry has been far too masculine for far too long, and it needs our motherly touch. With your support and adoration for diamonds, we can change those children’s stories and save lives with love.


With a grateful heart,
Anna-Mieke Anderson
Mother of the Laboratory Grown Diamond