Before purchasing a diamond, the Four C’s are important to take into consideration. However, another unfortunate aspect of diamond buying consideration is the origin of the diamond. With popular movies, such as “Blood Diamonds” with Brad Pitt, and media coverage, most people are familiar with the term conflict or blood diamonds, and have at least a basic understanding of the concept. Blood diamonds are diamonds that are mined illegally by militia or terrorist groups who force anybody to mine them. Then, these diamonds are sold for the groups to buy guns. Also, anyone who refuses to mine the diamonds are either killed or tutored. These stones are generally mined in Africa. Although certain groups, including the United Nations, are working on better regulating diamonds so no blood diamonds are entered into the market, a small portion (less than 2% of diamonds sold) can be purchased. The Kimberly Process is a way to track diamonds at every part of production and when buying a diamond, you can ask to see its conflict-free certificate. If you are interested in helping these countries overcome such travesties, you can gain more information and even donate to the Brilliant Earth Non-Profit Fund.
Another aspect of diamond controversy is illegal child labor. In some parts of Africa, small children are made to dig deep into small mines to retrieve diamonds because adults would not fit, while in some parts of India children are forced to work with the smaller diamonds because they have smaller hands and better eyes.
An alternative to conflict diamonds is conflict free diamonds that are mined in Canada. Another option is buying a different stone, such as a white sapphire, which looks almost identical to a diamond, is rated only one point below on the hardness scale, and is less than half the price of a real diamond. Synthetic and simulated diamonds are also other alternatives.