Social responsibility starts with the individual. As consumers, we need to ask questions and demand oversight from the organizations that oversee diamond certifications.
A famous example of this is the Kimberley Process, which is the certification scheme established in 2003 by the United Nations General Assembly that safeguards rough diamonds from financing civil and violent conflicts.
The different names and terms used to market stones to consumers can be misleading and can improperly represent the stone. Existing certifications (such as the Kimberley Process) do not curtail human rights or civil rights abuses. Unfortunately, the industry has not improved this issue and desperately needs to. Diamonds that comply with the "Kimberley Process" aren't necessarily mined diamonds free from conflict or conflict stones.
It also doesn't prevent human rights abuses. Industry expert Martin Rapaport of Rapaport Magazine says: "The definition of 'conflict diamonds' is limited to diamonds that fund civil wars. It does not include diamonds involved in human rights violations such as torture, rape, or slavery. There is no assurance that conflict free or KP-certified diamonds are not blood diamonds."
Any jeweler has to be extremely careful going forward about which diamonds are entering the consumer pipeline. Sometimes, large diamond producers partner with local and regional governments to control and mine mineral resources with little or no benefit to the surrounding communities.
This practice deprives locals of the prosperity they could enjoy if not for the greed that corrupts these large corporations. Against which, individually, it is difficult to fight and make a difference.
Blockchain technology will eventually play a prominent role in the industry regarding traceability and origin. Although it will take time to feel the effect of new best practices across the industry, it is up to us as individuals to do what we can to protect our resources and one another.
Cimelio wants to help mitigate these atrocities. Our goal is to create beautiful jewelry while also making a impactful social difference where we can, while also staying at the forefront of social change. That positive change starts with our partnership with the nonprofit The Gem Legacym a noble organization that helps East African artisanal miners through community development, providing tools and safety kits to educate their children and local orphans.
Of all Cimelio sales, 5% will be donated to this charity. And as Cimelio grows, we hope that our donations grow too. There are no small parts, only small actors.