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The John Atencio Jewelry Glossary The John Atencio Jewelry Glossary
Glossary › Conflict-Free Diamonds

Glossary: Conflict-Free Diamonds

Conflict-free certification ensures that diamonds originate from mines that actively avoid human rights abuses related to war, human trafficking, and more. These ethically sourced gems directly improve lives while meeting the highest standards for quality. Read on to learn exactly what makes a diamond conflict-free and get tips on choosing fine jewelry with ethically sourced gems.

What Are Conflict-Free Diamonds?

The term “conflict-free” indicates that a diamond meets universal ethical guidelines set by the United Nations. Specifically, these gems cannot originate from known conflict zones, nor can they finance armed aggression or civil unrest.

To qualify as 100% conflict-free, diamonds must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Come from legitimate mining operations with documented practices
  • Sales do not fund regional violence, weapons purchases, or illegal activity
  • Follow recognized labor regulations protecting basic human rights

Essentially “conflict-free” guarantees that specific diamonds do not perpetuate human suffering. They come detached from the troubles of war-torn areas and do not contribute–either directly or indirectly–to the loss of life or livelihood.

This sharply contrasts with so-called “blood diamonds” (aka “conflict diamonds”), a term used to describe gems from mines operating under hazardous conditions to bankroll regional violence and terrorism. Thankfully, improved traceability and a rising commitment to ethical sourcing has helped to combat this market over the last 20 years.

Importance of Ethical Mining

Conflict-free certification matters because it verifies critical aspects related to human welfare. These include:

  • Fair pay & workplace safety
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Community betterment projects
  • Funding local economies rather than warlords

Certifications like the UN-backed Kimberley Process require member countries to follow best practices at mines. This includes hazard protections, fair wages, restricted work hours, and oversight from attentive ethics committees.

Auditors affirm that there is no presence of forced labor or human rights offenses. Regular reviews ensure compliance, while violations risk membership revocation and diamond sanctions.

Traceability protocols track rough diamonds from certified mines to export centers. Forged paperwork and undisclosed origins are also targeted to prevent conflict-diamond trafficking.

How Conflict-Free Came to Be

The rush towards ethical jewelry gained momentum in the early 2000s after the film Blood Diamond exposed consumer diamonds fueling Sierra Leone’s civil war.

Shocking accounts of rebel armies using slave labor in treacherous mines helped eradicate the global market for illicit gems. Jewelry giants like Tiffany, along with everyday activists, initiated critical changes across the diamond pipeline.

These collective efforts have helped to render the blood diamond trade financially futile. Conscientious consumers now uplift ethical enterprises to amplify positive outcomes from diamond mining. 

In a very real way, supporting conflict-free businesses makes customers part of a humanitarian movement. This community of conscious consumers collectively shapes the jewelry trade through the power of the purse.

Why It's So Important

An ethically sourced gemstone brings peace of mind to anyone who values beautiful, guilt-free jewelry. But what is a conflict-free diamond in terms of local impact? 

Supporting lawful, ethical mining operations has a profound effect on communities. Responsible diamond production helps fund local schools, clean water initiatives, and small business loans across producing countries throughout the world.

Ethical mining allows sustained economic growth free of violence. It also helps protect indigenous rights and lands while elevating impoverished groups.

Sparkling Symbols of Hope

Conflict-free diamonds function as dazzling symbols that ethical mining positively impacts the world. They stand for hard-won human rights and environmental victories.

More and more consumers are recognizing this fact. In turn, they are making conscientious choices by shopping at socially conscious jewelry designers like John Atencio. This shifts demand away from suspect supply chains towards verified ethical origins.

Conscientious consumers understand their purchase power drives change. By making intelligent shopping decisions, today’s shoppers help advance the welfare of mining communities by supporting commerce that drives positive outcomes.

Eco-friendly, Sustainable, Conflict-Free Diamonds

Not all jewelers embrace John Atencio’s unwavering ethical standards. When creating his uniquely beautiful jewelry, John maintains a strict adherence to the most stringent social and ethical standards. In addition to offering conflict-free diamond jewelry, John is careful to source all of his natural stones from eco-conscious suppliers that prioritize optimal working conditions while safeguarding the local environment.

In many cases, traditional mining operations can cause deforestation, soil erosion, and contamination of water sources, all of which have far-reaching consequences for ecosystems and biodiversity. John helps combat this by sourcing from only the most reputable providers.

Renowned for his artfully crafted jewelry pieces, John Atencio has a passion for creativity and ethical design. These unyielding principles inform the way he sources his exquisite gemstones, ensuring that every piece reflects his values and unrivaled skill as an artist. 

Ethical, Sustainable Natural Diamonds

Over nearly 50 years, John Atencio has built a pristine reputation as a leading jewelry designer. Early on, he established ironclad relationships throughout the diamond pipeline. This means working exclusively with mining companies and cutters adhering to ethical protocols like the Kimberley Process

As both a craftsman and artist, John obsesses over diamond quality down to the atomic structure. He only uses ethically sourced diamonds of exceptional quality in his recycled gold designs. This guarantees maximum beauty. It also allows his customers to make a meaningful difference through conscientious spending.

In addition to his ethically sourced natural diamond pieces, John offers an incredible selection of stunning lab-grown diamond pieces, including dazzling tennis bracelets, brilliant diamond studs, and beautifully crafted designer engagement rings to signify your one-of-a-kind love story. 

Shop online or visit one of our many Colorado locations, where our jewelry consultants can help you choose the perfect piece of yourself or that special someone.