Here at Stunning Jewellery we make a very strong point of not dealing with “blood diamonds” (also known as conflict, converted, hot or war diamonds) as we believe that all of our diamonds should be ethically sourced and traded. However, many of our customers are not sure what this term means or why we place such importance on it, so we wanted to add a little detail to why we consider this so important!
What is a “Blood Diamond”?
A blood diamond is one that has been mined in a conflict area, such as a war zone, and has been then sold to finance efforts in a war or an insurgency. These diamonds have been mined purely to sell on and the profits used by warlords to buy weapons than then go on to kill people.
Measures in Place to Stem the Flow of Blood Diamond Trade
The Kimberley Process
Introduced in 2003 by the World Diamond Congress, the Kimberley Process is a government-run initiative that uses the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) to certify diamonds mined and exported as part of the legitimate diamond trade, rather than from a conflict zone.
This is an international certification system and imposes regulations on all countries to only accept diamonds that have been officially sealed as being conflict-free. Countries or individuals found to be trafficking conflict diamonds are charged and banned from further trade.
Different countries have different policies in place to deal with blood diamonds. The USA is the largest consumer of diamonds and as such have specific policies in place to ensure that no importation of rough diamonds from conflict zones including Libera and Sierra Leone takes place.
Canada have a partnership in place, Partnership Africa Canada, which is also part of the Diamond Development Initiative. This works to support the crisis in Africa with diamond mining.
Canada are also great supports of the Kimberley Process and have passed several laws to deal with the import and export of rough diamonds, including the Export and Import of Rough Diamonds Act (2002), which includes the Canadian Certificate scheme as well as KPCS regulations. The Canadian Certificate allows officers to seize any shipment of diamonds that does not meet the requirements of the Export and Import of Rough Diamonds Act.
The Government of the Northwest Territories of Canada (GNWT) also have their own certification system in place. All diamonds mined, cut and polished in this area receive a Government certificate, which includes the inscribing of a unique diamond identification number (DIN) onto each diamond’s girdle. A girdle is the thin perimeter of a diamond, dividing the crown above from the pavilion below. Diamonds mined outside the GNWT cannot obtain this certification.
Unfortunately, the trade of blood diamonds is widespread and has been an ongoing problem for a long time. Notable areas at fault of trading in blood diamonds include Angola (a colony of Portugal) and Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
There are other areas once considered to be guilty of blood diamond trade but have now clamped down and are part of the Kimberley Process, including Liberia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire).
Top five most expensive pieces of jewellery in the world
With not one, but two huge triangular diamonds featuring in this stunning ring, it is not surprising that something like this is in the top five most expensive jewellery pieces! The vivid blue diamond weighs in at 10.95 carats with the white diamond slightly smaller at 9.87 carats. Finished with several baguette shaped diamonds in the centre of the ring and set in gold, this ring has been dated back to around 1972.
After a rather intense bidding war, the ring was sold at auction for £9.8 million pounds at Christie’s New York in October 2010
Number 4 – Heart of the Ocean Diamond
Perhaps made most famous after Kate Winslet posed for Leo DiCaprio in Titanic wearing nothing more than a very pretty necklace, the Heart of the Ocean Diamond is a complete replica of the necklace used in that very scene and the one that was eventually thrown into the sea by Winslet at the end of the film. Although there was no Heart of the Ocean Diamond necklace consumed in the tragic incident in 1912, the film did use it as a major part of the sub plot and afterwards, replicas have been known to fetch up to £2 million pounds. The necklace used in the film, and afterwards on the red carpet cost £13.2 million pounds.
Number 3 – The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond
According to the history of the ring, it was mined from Golkonda, an Indian kingdom, and was brought by King Philip IV Spain in 1664 to be included as part of the dowry of his teenage daughter, Margaret Teresa. After this story, which some doubt, the diamond was held within the Bavarian royal crown until the great depression set in. After that, the diamond was sold time and time again until Laurence Graff brought the diamond in 2008 for a whopping £16.5 million pounds However, Graff has upset many, with critics claiming that after cutting into the stone to remove any flaws, he has altered the diamond to the point it is now unrecognisable.
Number 2 – Doubly Fortunate Necklace
Brought in November 1997 at auction in Hong Kong for £5.2 million pounds, it isn’t surprising to learn that jadeite is the also known as one of the most expensive gems in the world, excluding diamonds. Featuring 27 almost completely flawless jadeite solid beads and completed with a single diamond stone clasp, this necklace with its vivid green colour and solid weight, this necklace was always going to feature on the top 5 list!
Number 1 – The Graff Pink
The second piece of jewellery to feature in the top five that now belongs to Laurence Graff, the Graff Pink is one of the rarest and most lusted after in the world. Noted as being the biggest and most internally flawless pink diamond in the world, the price at auction was sure to reflect that. Weighing in at 24.78 carats, the diamond sold for £29 million pounds on the 16th November 2010 at Sotheby’s.