When we see a diamond, we think of love, romance and lifelong commitment. The unique moments surrounded by the gifting of the brilliant jewel. The joyful tears shed, the promise implied in each facet of the sparkling stone. The majestic gem is worn close to the final customer’s heart as beautiful armor; they feel protected and bonded by the love that the jewel represents.
Unfortunately, there are some who view diamonds not as armor, but as weapons. Although 99% of diamonds are conflict free, a percentage (1%) of the world’s diamonds are still marred by violence and bloodshed. The Kimberly Process Certification System created in 2002 brought down the percentage to 1% from the 4% it had been in the nineties, that 1% cannot be ignored; there are real, suffering people behind the statistics.
Conflict diamonds are diamonds mined in a war zone and illegally traded, usually to fund conflict and military action in Africa’s war-torn regions. Many African diamond diggers are forced to work in unfair and dangerous conditions.
That is why, as human beings living in the same world as those affected by conflict diamonds and as diamantaires, we at EMD are committed to promoting an ethical diamond industry. EMD is a proud member of the RJC (Responsible Jewelry Council), a non-profit certification organization which sets standards for the diamond industry, for those across all spectrums of the supply chain. The RJC Code of Practices addresses human and labor rights, as well as the impact diamond production has on the environment, and more. It means that all members of the RJC must comply with a strict international standard and responsible business practices. The RJC brings awareness about unethical diamonds to the world and makes sure that their strict Code of Practices is enforced. In addition to our membership in the RJC, EMD is also a member of the World Federation of Diamond Boursesand the Israeli Diamond Exchange, which helps the trade stay true to ethical business practices. We are strong believers in the fact that it is possible to conduct business while protecting others rather than causing harm, by practicing fair trade.
The EMD team and I are passionate about working towards cultivating an ethical diamond industry, and to providing our clients with GIA-certified conflict-free diamonds. Anyone who purchases a diamond from us can rest assured that the stone was obtained by legal and legitimate means, and was mined in accordance with strict environmental and labor standards. Our membership in the RJC helps us achieve that feat.
Not only are ethical diamonds what our clients want, as individuals and businesses have become more and more aware of the importance of social responsibility and conflict-free diamonds, but this is also what we strongly believe in. The corruption and violence occurring in the mineral industry today cannot be ignored, although we may feel that it is irrelevant to our lives. We are all part of this world and must do our part to maintain it and to take care of those inhabiting it.
Any legitimate diamantaire, in fact, should be a member of the RJC or similar organization ensuring an ethical code of practice. If we don’t comply with these standards, when we look at the sparkling stones we would think of all those affected by the gems. This way, we can see each stone for what it is and what it should be – a little slice of magic and a symbol of love and commitment. As the CEO of a family business, I have taken care to run my business in harmony with my family values and to raise my children as people who care about the world we live in and who conduct business accordingly. I am looking forward to the day when any immoral use of diamonds no longer exists.
Learn more about the RJC CODE OF PRACTICES
About the Author:
I’m the CEO and Founder of EMD Diamond Manufacturers, a leading producer and
diamond supplier with an inventory of over 1,500 natural, GIA-certified
diamonds. Though the EMD stock includes every popular diamond shape including
the most favored round diamond, we specialize in unique, fancy diamond shapes
such as oval, radiant and emerald. Carat weights range between 0.70 and 8.00.
Our family business couples almost 40 years of diamond expertise with the
business management knowledge of my two sons and daughter, resulting in a well-rounded company, centered on family values and commitment
to our customers.