from Briliant Earth
Recently, Ian Smillie, one of the leading conflict diamond experts and key architect of the Kimberley Process diamond verification system, declared his resignation to the Kimberley Process members. Smillie declared the system ineffective, and stated in an eloquently written letter: â€œwhen regulators fail to regulate, the systems they were designed to protect collapse.”
Despite having all the tools in place, the certification scheme continues to fail to address â€œissues of noncompliance, smuggling, money laundering and human rights abuses” in controversial diamond fields. In the recent weeks following Smillieâ€™s resignation, multiple other groups have publicly announced their lack of faith in the schemeâ€™s ability to adequately police the diamond trade.
Despite the problems with the Kimberley Process, there are ethical diamond options for conscious consumers. Consumers should look for conflict-free and ethical origin diamonds that are independently tracked from the country and individual mine of origin to ensure high standards of social and environmental responsibility. Canadian diamonds remain a clear choice as are emerging programs for responsibly mined, cut, and polished stones from Namibia. These diamonds have been carefully traced to ensure environmentally responsible and fair labor practices throughout their chain of custody.
Brilliant Earth will continue to carry only ethically sourced diamonds that are mined under strict social and environmental standards.