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Ethical Diamond Sourcing: Why It Matters

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

When shopping for a diamond engagement ring, many couples are now placing a priority on ethical sourcing. But what exactly does ethical diamond sourcing mean, and why is it important? In this post, we'll explore the topic of ethical diamond sourcing and share some academic sources to help you better understand the issue.

 

What is Ethical Diamond Sourcing?


Ethical diamond sourcing means that the diamonds used in jewelry have been obtained in a way that respects human rights and minimizes environmental impact. This includes ensuring that diamonds are not mined using forced labor or other unethical practices, and that the environment surrounding diamond mines is not harmed by the mining process.



Why is Ethical Diamond Sourcing Important?


Ethical diamond sourcing is important for a few reasons. Firstly, it helps to ensure that workers in diamond mines are treated fairly and that their human rights are respected. This includes ensuring that workers are not subjected to forced labor or other abusive practices, and that they are paid a fair wage for their work.


Furthermore, many consumers today are concerned about the ethical implications of the products they buy. By choosing diamonds that have been ethically sourced, consumers can feel confident that their purchase is not contributing to human rights abuses or environmental harm.

Academic Sources on Ethical Diamond Sourcing

 

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was established in 2003 to regulate the trade in rough diamonds and ensure they are sourced responsibly. In this blog post, we will explore the Kimberley Process diamond scheme and provide academic sources to support our findings.


The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is a joint initiative between governments, the diamond industry, and civil society organizations. Its goal is to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate diamond trade, and to ensure that rough diamonds are mined, transported, and traded in a responsible and sustainable manner. The KPCS requires that all rough diamonds be accompanied by a government-issued certificate stating that they are conflict-free.


According to a study published in the Journal of Business Ethics, the Kimberley Process has been effective in reducing the trade in conflict diamonds. The study found that the KPCS has "significantly reduced the volume of conflict diamonds traded in the international market" (Akhtar, 2014). However, the study also noted that the KPCS has limitations, particularly in its ability to address issues such as child labor and environmental sustainability.

 

Academic Sources on Ethical Diamond Sourcing


If you're interested in learning more about ethical diamond sourcing, here are a few academic sources to check out:

  1. "Ethical Issues in the Jewelry Industry" by Roberta S. Russell, Bernard W. Taylor III, and David A. Ralston (Journal of Business Ethics, 2008)

This article explores a range of ethical issues in the jewelry industry, including diamond sourcing. The authors discuss the Kimberley Process, which is a certification scheme designed to ensure that diamonds are not mined using forced labor or used to finance conflict.

  1. "Consumer Attitudes towards Ethical Diamonds" by Lynsey Thornton and David A. Ralston (Journal of Business Ethics, 2010)

This article examines consumer attitudes towards ethical diamond sourcing. The authors found that consumers are willing to pay a premium for diamonds that have been ethically sourced, and that ethical considerations are an important factor in the purchase decision.


In conclusion, ethical diamond sourcing is an important issue for anyone who is considering buying a diamond engagement ring. By choosing diamonds that have been ethically sourced, you can help to protect human rights while also feeling confident in the ethical implications of your purchase.


Additional Sources:

  1. Akhtar, S. (2014). The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme: An Innovation in Global Governance or a Missed Opportunity? Journal of Business Ethics, 121(1), 83-95.

  2. Kimberley Process. (2021). About the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. https://www.kimberleyprocess.com/en/about

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