While I am sure that this certification scheme has been important in decreasing the flow of conflict diamonds, the idea of being able to buy “conflict-free” diamonds seems a bit like “guilt-free” chocolate to me. This process has raised awareness of the problem and sent a clear message to those trading in “conflict” diamonds, but has it resulted in a decrease in the violent conflict and human rights abuses that occur in such regions? And does it address the injustice that exists when some of us can afford to pay thousands for a nice ring while others (often those who live nearest to the sought-after resource) still live in poverty?
So, what to do? If you’re starting to wonder what to buy your loved one that is both ethical and longlasting, don’t worry. I’m working on a product that will be truly guilt-free, conflict-free, and chocolate-free... and reasonably priced. It is something that wouldn’t be worth killing or dying for. But sadly, I’ve been told that my “plastic is forever” idea just doesn’t have the same ring!!