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Blood Diamonds: What You Can Do To Ensure You're Purchasing A Conflict Free Diamond Jewelry
By Melanie Spark
What are blood diamonds? Blood diamonds, also called conflict diamonds, are mined in war torn African countries by rebels to fund their conflict. The rebels grossly abuse human rights, often murdering and enslaving the local populations to mine the diamonds. The recent "Blood Diamonds" movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, has again brought this issue to light. The movie is set in Sierra Leone during the 1900s during the civil war that lasted until 2002. As a consumer you might feel that you cannot directly make an impact towards the resolution of this issue especially since diamonds"); are rare commodities and thus is something you can just stop buying. After all, the average person buys a diamond only once or twice in his lifetime. However, you can still make a difference.

When considering purchasing a diamond, remember that it is a once in a lifetime purchase and you want to make sure that you buy a conflict free diamond. The Kimberly Process was created so that the diamond industry is obliged to write invoices of all diamond purchases that contain guarantees that the sold diamonds"); are conflict-free diamonds. Whereas before it was impossible to tell whether a diamond was conflict-free, The warranties now identify conflict-free diamonds"); from questionable diamonds. However, there are many diamond retailers that still do not issue warranties and therefore sell diamonds"); of questionable origins. Make sure to shop around and ask questions regarding the store's policy against conflict diamonds. The first thing you can do is to not buy diamonds"); or diamond jewelry with no guarantees. The retailer, if abiding by the Kimberly Process, will not buy from suppliers who do not provide guarantees. Ask about the store's policy on conflict diamonds"); as well. Buy only from those that have a clear firm policy. Asking questions and making them produce copies of guarantees will not only


ensure that you buy conflict-free diamonds"); but will also send them the message that consumers are becoming aware of the problem and would not buy from irresponsible stores.

If you cannot find a diamond retailer that provide a guarantee, do not despair, there is an alternative. If you truly do not want to support the diamond industry and conflict diamonds, your alternative is cubic zirconia simulants. Cubic zirconias are man made Diamonds"); that are made to look and feel like natural diamonds. The likeness is so great that only a jeweler, who is using a professional diamond loop, can distinguish between flawless diamond and cubic zirconia rings. Because cubic zirconia jewelry is the most affordable way to get the look of an expensive diamond for a lot less money, they are extremely popular among those who are on a budget. When it comes to cubic zirconia jewelry, the stones themselves can be designed in round, oval, emerald, radiant, pear, heart and marquise cut. In many instances, they may also feature colored stones to further replicate some of the world’s most rarest of diamond, including pink, yellow and red. Buying cubic zirconia jewelry also ensures that you are not supporting the diamond retailers who are supporting conflict diamonds. Cubic zirconia jewelry are a much better alternative to natural diamonds, a lot less expensive, and makes you feel good about your purchase.