It has been nearly 9 years since the movie “Blood Diamond” exposed the truth behind the sourcing and trading of diamonds in Africa. For those who did not know about conflict diamonds, it was the first glimpse into the dark side of the diamond trade. While the movie was able to shed light on the diamond world’s biggest secret, it unfortunately only presented the problem and not the solution, until now...
Last week the Diamond Foundry, a California-based diamond producer, disclosed their list of backers which includes the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio. Leo has come full circle since his role as Danny Archer, a greedy diamond smuggler in the movie Blood Diamond, announcing that he is now “proud” to be supporting the emergence of a cleaner, safer and truly conflict-free diamond industry - The lab-created diamond industry.
While consumer demand for earth-mined diamonds is starting to decline, conflict diamonds are still entering global markets at a high rate. Between 2010 and 2014, approximately 48 million carats of confirmed blood diamonds hit the international diamond market and are now being purchased by unassuming consumers. This is just from one country and the ones we know about. The ugly truth is conflict diamonds are still a major problem in today's society, and especially within Africa and other diamond-rich countries such as Brazil, Russia, and India.
Ten years ago I had the vision to create a conflict-free diamond and became a pioneer in the lab-created diamond industry. Even before the technology to create diamonds was perfected I knew that the only way to combat conflict diamonds was to grow them in a modern-day lab environment and give the profits back to diamond mining communities, helping rebuild the lives and land of those impacted most.
Having a celebrity of Leo’s stature join the lab-created diamond movement is great news for the lab-created diamond industry. I believe that the support of someone like Leonardo DiCaprio will certainly benefit the lab-created diamond industry at large, but more importantly, it will positively impact the artisanal miners, children, and local environments negatively impacted by diamond mining around the world by allowing companies like MiaDonna to continue giving back.
So on behalf of myself and the lab-created diamond industry, “Welcome Leo, it’s about bloody time!”
However, your celebrity status could have been used 9 years ago to help combat conflict diamonds and generate a conversation among diamond consumers while bringing the solution mainstream. The solution being eco-friendly lab-created diamonds that give back.
Over these last 9 years, the earth-mined diamond industry has ignored, ridiculed and underestimated the lab-created diamond industry as they continued to trade in conflict diamonds.
Even if Leo is just another investor (with a pretty face), his contribution is once again shining the Hollywood spotlight on the atrocities associated with earth-mined diamonds, while educating consumers about the lab-created diamond industry and the advancements in diamond technology.
I am excited to learn more about the Diamond Foundry’s technology and mission. MiaDonna aligns themselves with the best diamond growers in the industry, using only the most advanced technology. Like-minded thinking is exactly what we need to raise the ethical bar in diamonds.