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Are Canadian Diamonds Ethical?

Is sustainability important to you? When it comes to purchasing a diamond, do you want to better understand what you are buying along with the environmental and professional business practices you might be supporting? If any of the above questions have meaning to you, you might be interested in a Canadian Diamond. 

As working with ethical and origin traceable diamonds is important to both me as a designer and many of my customers, a Canadian Diamond one option that I recommend to anyone concerned about the impact of their purchasing decision.

How did Canadian Diamonds come to be?

In the early 1990s, areas with an abundance of diamonds were discovered in the Arctic region of Canada known as the Northwest Territories. From the beginning, Canada was committed to an environmentally-friendly approach to mining that valued sustainability and ethical practices - as well as labor regulations prioritizing safety. “By imposing stringent regulations on mining companies, the Canadian government can proudly state that all of its diamonds abide by the highest environmental and international human rights frameworks and labor regulations.”  

Prior to this discovery, “there was no such thing as a Canadian diamond — as far as anyone knew. Diamonds came mostly from Australia, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, and Russia. De Beers mined 75 percent of the world's output, much of it tainted by controversial blood diamonds sold to fund African wars.” Currently, Canada is the world’s third largest producer of rough diamonds by both volume and value.

Why are Canadian Diamonds prized?

Canadian diamonds are the top source for people who care about origin traceability and conflict-free diamonds and are some of the highest quality diamonds available on the market. They are icy white in color and offer a lower level of internal irregularities which results in improved light through each stone - leading them to be considered some of the purest gems in the world. Unfortunately, this also means that unusual and unique salt and pepper diamonds rarely come from this region, and while traditional cut diamonds are plentiful, unique and one-of-a-kind cuts are difficult, but not impossible, to find. 

Not only valued for the high quality, Canadian diamonds are one of the most ethical in the industry. “All diamonds mined in Canada are guaranteed to be conflict-free, unlike almost all other diamonds.  

The Kimberley Process Certification is the certification that almost all designers and retailers refer to when they say a diamond is “certified conflict free”.  However, unfortunately KPC is no longer a certification that has merit. Kimberley Process Certification was the process established in 2003 to prevent "conflict diamonds" from entering the mainstream rough diamond market.

However, it has recently come to light that the Kimberley Process is not living up to its mission.  This means that unfortunately you can no longer rely on this designation as it currently stands. While this does not mean that diamonds with this certification are from a conflict region, it can give no assurances that they are not.

You can read more about the recent descent at the Kimberley Process Intersessional Meeting and read more about my thoughts on Ethical Diamonds here. 

Canadian Diamonds and Sustainability.

Additionally, Canadian Diamond mining prioritizes sustainability. Before a mine is open, Canadian mining companies must agree to protect the environment and restore it to its original condition when a mine has closed. In fact, “for every acre of land used for mining, three are set aside for conservation, and major environment and biodiversity studies are required before building is even given the go ahead, in consultation with indigenous communities and local and regional governments.” They also work to preserve and protect habitat of Canadian Arctic animals.  


The Benefits of Purchasing A Canadian Diamond.

Though they are pricier than other diamonds, one is making an investment with the purchase of a Canadian Diamond and supporting ethical humanitarian and environmental business practices. Because each step of the process is tracked and audited, this may lead to additional costs that the customer is assisting with due to the additional accountability.

The benefits of purchasing a Canadian Diamond are clear: contributing to sustainable mining practices, reinforcing accountability in the industry, promoting ethical work environments, and directly aiding the communities in which these processes are operating.  Of course, there are critics whenever mining is involved, and no company is above reproach, but if a natural diamond created by mother earth is your goal and ethics and sustainability are important to you, Canadian Diamonds are a great choice.

As my circle of ethically-minded suppliers grows, I am thrilled to say that I have access to one of the only companies creating unique and one-of-a-kind stones with ethically mined Canadian DiamondsContact me to start your one-of-a-kind stone search.  You can also learn more about ethical diamonds and the potential green-washing in the industry here

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