Thursday, January 22, 2009

Are Diamonds a Black Girl’s Best Friend?

My ring (a little blurry)

You know the tagline, “a diamond is forever,” and I’ll admit the sparkle and shine puts a smile on this girl’s face. But then I think about blood diamonds. I’m sure everyone knows about this, maybe you’ve read an article or saw that movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and his fake accent. As a Black woman (just so you know I don’t call myself African American) there is a special place in my heart for mother Africa. It’s where life began and where so many of us can trace ancestry to. I’ve never been there, but it’s a trip I plan to take one day. I would never want to wear a rock that paid for civil war, torture, and the death of Africans just trying to make ends meet for their families.

Also, I’ve always loved color and diamonds, no matter how sparkly, well, they’re clear. So I decided I wanted a sapphire, as my jeweler sang to me, “Sapphires are eternal” (he was trying to do a remake of the “Diamonds are forever” song for me). I wanted a ring that looked antique, an art deco style. The setting I chose included space for small diamonds. And the small diamonds looked awesome! Ugh, pulling at my heart strings. Africans or Diamonds? Our wonderful jeweler is a longtime friend of a family member and assured us that the diamonds used in my ring are conflict-free, blood free. I’m going to believe him. They’re small (Ok, that’s what I tell myself).

I’ve read about the Kimberley Process, which countries join to certify that the diamonds they are selling are conflict free. But this is not a law, it’s an agreement. I’ll admit I don’t know all the facts, but I know that I don’t trust DeBeers. It sounds like the Kimberley Process is a start, but won’t really solve the issue at hand, there needs to be law and tough consequences, not just being removed as a member from the process, sure it means you can’t trade with other members, but there’s always someone willing to do something underhanded and get those diamonds.

I just wonder if anyone else thinks about things like this. I stare at my hand sometimes and hope that whoever mined these diamonds was not at war, was not harmed, and the money they made helped put food on their table and clothes on their children.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you, however ... :) I too am engaged and did receive a diamond ring for the occasion. And I too was informed the beautiful diamond was not received from conflict, and am hoping that is true.

As for believing those companies who have signed on to the Kimberley Process - what other choice do we have? The fact that joining this is not a law makes me feel better about it. These companies WANT to be there and WANT to have the semblance of "looking good" so hopefully they indeed are good. At least, this is what I keep telling myself.

K @ Blog Goggles said...

I love hearing about non-traditional engagement rings. They're always gorgeous, but also special because they're not just the same cookie cutter rings you see on everyone's fingers. I've featured a couple on my blog before, too.

If/when I get engaged and if I decide I want a diamond, I'd like one from Canada (just to be sure). I know has a selection of them.

But congrats!