Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Diamonds are NOT a Girls Best Friend

That unmistakably Tiffany’s box makes the old Marilyn Mauro Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend very clear. For decades girls have wished, dreamed, and even prayed for that shinny peace of ice to adorn their ring finger. But in 2006 Edward Zwick directed a movie in which Leonardo DiCaprio started in that showed the hard to swallow, gut ranching truth about diamonds. Yes the movie was not 100% accurate. However it did start to shed light on a topic most people did not know existed or wanted to sweep under the rug of “Western World Would Never”.

Blood diamonds are real and not only are they real but hundreds of unsuspecting women are walking around with a ring on what has potentially cost someone their life. These women did not knowingly seek out such a ring but the ring was purchased and given without any certification on where it origin. There is no record proving that it has been mined in a fair-tread mine nor is there proof that the labor used to collect, clean, and cut diamond was not slave labor.

Now don’t take my passion for human rights and fair-tread as me stating ALL diamonds are bad, but understand there needs to change in the way consumers buy diamonds. People, especially those who are believes, need to see what is really going on in the world and business of diamonds.

As a believer I know we are all created in the image of God and have been created equal. With the issue of Blood Diamonds people have been striped of their identity of being wonderfully and beautifully made. They have been forced and manipulated in to working in mines to dig up something they know is of value; something they have been told is more valuable then them. Each and every day war lords, drug and gun runner, and even government officials exploit thousands to make money to support their wars, their “business”, and their own pockets. So all I ask is if you are a girl thinking, dreaming, or praying for that shinny piece of ice or if you are a guy planning on buying a special girl that ring…..stop and think. Take the time to look into not only what you/she wants but really look at where the diamond is coming from.

When it comes to talking with a jeweler or a store and they say “I am not sure if it is conflict free” or “We have no way of knowing that” then that is not a place you should be spending any money. Conflict free stones come with certification and reputable jewelers will bend over back wards to show and tell you all the information you want to know about the origin of a diamond. The BBC has a great article about what blood diamond/conflict stones are and the latest news on what is being done to stop the growing problem (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/10307046.stm). Also there is a petition right now people can sign to help the US government become more aware of the public rising their voice to make policy changes related to this issue (http://humanrights.change.org/petitions/view/demand_complete_reform_of_the_failing_kimberley_process_to_prevent_conflict_diamonds). Lastly there is a brilliant alternative to your normal jewelers right here in the Bay area! Brilliant Earth is a jewelry company that is founded on the fair-trade concept and they give 5% of every purchase to a non-profit helping villages in Africa that are suffering because of the diamond business. They have a great selection of rings, ear-rings, and necklaces (http://www.brilliantearth.com/).

Diamonds can be a girl’s best friend IF they are certified conflict free! Show off that diamond and tell others why it was such an important issue for you to get a conflict free stone, I know I will be when I have one (well I will be when I have my conflict free pearl)!

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