Okay, so I have to be honest…

I like diamonds. I even painfully admit that I have fantasized about them. I try to disguise my longing for the sparkler behind a fortified fortification of snobbishness, the double whammy of self protection. After all, materialism is not my cup of tea.

“Who me?” Never! I am too forward thinking to be enchanted by such baubles that wreak such havoc in communities and purses. I scoff and flip my hair at such tomfoolery!

But a girl can dream. The dazzling stone for me has always been associated with a romantic dalliance, adventure or high social standing. In “my quiet time” when my eyes get all dewy from the thought of a “possible some time in the future” romance I often imagine the bestowing of a gift. A trifle adornment for my not so slender finger pronouncing undying love and affection, a bond which can not be destroyed (because after all… Diamonds Are Forever, right?). But wait! Snap out of it! © Cher- Moonstruck

The reverie in which I find myself is quickly replaced with guilt of even contemplating owning the precious stone. I am not so sappy or simple (well not very often) to knowingly participate or have a hand in the possible abuses that may occur to satisfy my romantic fantasies.

Diamonds have been the ultimate statement of status throughout history. With the ushering in of a new century, the need to feel powerful and important has created an explosion of “Bling Blingers” and Wannabee’s. And let’s be honest --the daily flashy dashy of ice has further promoted the need for greed.

I have always been a little standoffish when it comes to the hype, mostly because I do not wish to reveal my secret crush on the rock candy. More importantly what is the real cost for these bragging rights?

Often these diamonds are mined to the detriment of communities and families. “Blood Diamonds” as they are often called are associated with human rights abuses, funding of blood thirsty militants and terrorism, and even environmental pollution. Although, steps have been taken by the UN and Diamond Industry to certify that the gems have not been obtained through violence (The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme); it is very difficult and nearly impossible for dealers and/or jewelers to guarantee their product has not been procured by such methods, especially when sourced from Africa.

For these reasons alone I find it difficult to boast my princess cut. I imagine my swagger as I dangle and drape my hand over my loyal subjects proclaiming the “Absolutely flawless cut cradled by itsy bitsy 1 carat specs surrounded by a platinum encrusted band. And it only cost an arm and a leg! Literally! Pah ha ha I made little funny, now where is that butler I really must have a Perrier.”

This just in!

To my recent astonishment and extreme delight (I get a late pass from some I am sure) I have discovered that Canada has a booming diamond industry! Who knew?! These dazzling dazzlers hailing from our friendly neighbors up north are strictly regulated with an environmental perk!

For your informational pleasure I have included two companies who deal in this fantastic Canadian Diamond business. Here’s the scoop directly from their website:

Tundra Diamonds http://www.tundradiamonds.com

“Tundra Diamonds are Canadian Arctic Diamonds. These extraordinary gemstones are mined in Canada. Certified by the CanadaMark, Tundra Diamonds are truly conflict-free. The discovery of diamonds in Canada's north is a story that is legendary throughout the diamond world. The triumph over the vast geography, harsh terrain and formidable odds produced a reliable new source of quality diamonds. A disciplined, failsafe program of identification and tracking was required to ensure the authenticity of these diamonds from the mine through to the consumer. Where a diamond comes from defines its true nature. In the world of diamonds there is one source that makes a statement of purity, brilliance and value. That place is Canada. Tundra Diamonds are all completely natural. No laser holes. No fillers. No enhancement techniques employed. After being cut using the most advanced technology and most highly skilled cutters, Tundra Diamonds are then sent to the Gemmological Institute of America for grading and appraisal. The GIA is the most highly regarded organization worldwide for honest and conservative diamond reports.”

“With abundant wildlife to protect, mining operation must not threaten the Bathurst Caribou herd that migrates through the area. Protection of the Grizzly Bear, Arctic Fox, Red Fox and Wolverine, as well as the Tundra itself is enforced by legally binding environmental agreements with the government. An independent agency has been established to monitor environmental issues related to air quality, aquatic conditions and archaeological sites, as well.”

Brilliant Earth http://www.brilliantearth.com

“Brilliant Earth (Based in San Francisco, Brilliant Earth grew out of a marriage proposal. After Beth's fiance could not find a reliable source that could guarantee conflict free diamonds, Beth Gerstein and Eric Grossberg created Brilliant Earth to provide certified conflict free diamonds as an alternative to current diamond industry practices) all Canadian diamonds and 5% is donated to (As part of its mission to promote industry-wide change, we work in partnership with advocacy groups to promote awareness about conflict diamonds, labor and mining issues, and environmental concerns in the industry. Brilliant Earth also dedicates 5% of its profits to directly benefit local African communities harmed by the diamond industry.”

“Brilliant Earth uses precious metals from renewed sources derived from recycled jewelry or industrial products. The precious metals are reclaimed and then re-refined to produce gold and platinum of identical quality to newly mined metals. By using renewed metals, our goal is to reduce the need for additional dirty mining of precious metals.”

There you have my two cents,

Natalie

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Comment by Sojournals on April 18, 2007 at 5:03pm
Wow! That was really informative, and very well written. Natalie should really write more often.

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