While diamonds are known for being a girl’s best friend, its questionable if they are the planets best friend. It was a few years ago with the movie release of Blood Diamond that attention was drawn to the origin of diamonds. And while not all diamonds are “bad”, it is important to do your research and know where the diamond is sourced. Traditionally mined diamonds have been equated with pollution and destruction of the environment, as well as associated with strip mining. This is especially the case when the operations are located in third world countries where environmental regulations are nonexistent or ignored. By comparison, synthetic or cultured diamonds, which are identical to natural diamonds, have much less of an environmental impact because they are grown in a lab and are conflict free. Don’t be afraid to ask to see certification and/or a written policy on ethical sourcing and where is each diamond is from. If they can’t determine the country then at least they should be able to identify the mine. Ask for diamonds mined in accordance with strict labor and environmental standards and diamonds free from all violence, not just civil wars.
Or, in order to make your shopping a bit easier, here are six eco-friendly retailers, which take the environment seriously and have a strong sense of sustainability and love for the planet:
Brilliant Earth -They offer a beyond conflict diamond free guarantee along with ethical standards,
Diamond Nexus – For those consumers seeking a pure carbon synthetic diamond, their stone delivers the same experience of a diamond with a 100% conflict free guarantee. As the first eco friendly jeweler to ever partner with the Miss Universe Organization, which means that, Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA wear synthetic diamond crowns created by their company.
DNA2 Diamonds – They develop their origin-guaranteed diamonds by using the same high pressure, high temperature process that replicates conditions found deep inside the earth, where a diamond is formed over millions of years, but theirs is produced in a lab without the harmful effects to the planet and a more modest price point than mined diamonds.
Greenwhich Jewelers – One of my favorite retail stores in NYC. All of their diamonds are conflict free and help promote sustainability in Nambia and in the NorthWest Territories.
Leber Jewelers – Based in Chicago, they are the first jewelry store dedicated to socially-conscious and eco-friendly fine jewelry, including diamonds.
If you are looking for a place to learn more about what to look for in diamonds and to educate yourself on the topic, go to Green Karat. However you get your bling on–add some green to your sparkle!