Monday, May 03, 2010

"Diamonds Are Forever But So Are Cockroaches"

"Diamonds are a girl's best friend." Really? Whoever made that statement, had not met this girl. There are two primary diamond criticisms that served as obstacles to my wanting one.

1) "Blood diamonds"
Blood diamonds are also referred to as conflict diamonds. The term is used to describe diamonds that are mined in war zones and are often sold to fund these war efforts. As if that weren't bad enough for a peacenik like myself, there is more. There are also serious allegations that conflict diamonds are mined unethically, which includes concerns of child labor and worker abuse. The solution? The Kimberly Process, maybe. This process was put into place to ensure greater transparency in diamond mining and selling. Ideally, what it would have done was certify diamonds that were mined ethically and outside of conflict zones. Unfortunately, there were holes in the process and there have been numerous allegations about the access to loopholes.

"Some say the Kimberley Process amounted to little more than a public relations stunt for the diamond industry, and recent reports by Global Witness and other NGOs have found little evidence of genuine attempts to deliver on industry commitments."
More at: Global Policy

2) Apartheid Israel
Is there something disconcerting about the fact that the Apartheid State of Israel participates in the Kimberly Process?

Apartheid Israel is one of the leading world producers in cut and polished diamonds, and most customers won't be able to distinguish a diamond cut in Israel versus one cut elsewhere. According to BDS activists, the very same issues "blood diamond" activists are concerned with are happening in Israel as well. Revenues from Israel's diamond industry fund genocide against Palestinians.

"The WDC fails to mention that the much more lucrative, high-value end of the diamond industry is the main artery of the Israeli economy, accounting for more than 30 percent of Israel's total manufacturing exports worth nearly $20 billion in 2008 ("Trade Performance HS: Exports of Israel" accessed 25 March 2010) (See Figures 3 and 4). By comparison, the budget for Israel's Ministry of Defense was $16 billion in 2008."
More at: BDS Movement

So what's a girl to do? What alternatives are there to satisfy one's desire for pretty things, but ensure that we didn't start out on our life together with blood on our hands?

While there are several options available, we chose Moissanite.


Yasmine said...

In one of my Geology courses that I took, the professor said that you can ask for a non-conflict diamond which is one that is made in a laboratory rather than a diamond that one is not sure of its whereabouts.

Billal said...

Yeah it sucks how the societal norm for an engagement ring is a ring with diamonds in it. Also it is strange how someone like me could get socially pressured into getting one, even after knowing all of the facts. Sometimes brown guys have no control over wedding festivities. We fight the materialism surrounding the whole process till we give up, and let the families have their way. I guess its important how we like the rest of our lives.