I like diamonds. And I’m “fortunate” enough to own a few … well, maybe more than a few by some standards – but I have one of those husbands that over the years has given me jewelry. Oh, and one of those mother-in-laws that also likes to gift family heirlooms now that I have been married to her son long enough to qualify. BUT. Every now and then there is a picture released … a school lesson resurfaced … or a story that breaks … (like today’s article by Los Angeles Times, Neela Banerjee) and I am reminded of the sacrifices that were made so my fingers, my ears, my neck and my wrist, can sport flashes of precise cuts, pristine clarity and flawless brilliant color.
If you saw the movie Blood Diamond, or if you are aware at all of the blatant disregard for human life that exists in the war torn areas of Africa that trade these precious stones, then you undoubtedly are at least conscious to the plight of the thousands of mutilated lives fashioned in this iniquitous market.
So what’s a girl to do? Well, it depends – on a number of things. First of all, I am NOT here to preach or demoralize anyone … I am only here to make you aware … and then to let you make your own decisions. That’s the beauty of living in a Western society – you are free to choose. So I’ll tell you what this girl has done … first, the diamonds that this girl owns, she will continue to wear … BUT, I am mindful of their conception and I am not obtuse enough to think that they all originated in a non-conflict zone even though according to DeBeers their diamonds are 100% conflict free and supposedly, reputable jewelers only buy diamonds from vendors who adhere to the policies set forth by the United Nations. Supposedly.
I only wish sometimes, that I knew the story behind the diamonds that I do own … that I was aware of their journey to my hand, neck, wrist … and that in the future, the highly coveted stones came with a “made in” or “product origin” stamp … because for me, being aware of atrocities isn’t enough … it’s being responsive that makes the difference.
On a side note, should you choose to search Google Images for “Conflict Diamonds”, I am telling you to be careful because what you will see is far worse than anything you can imagine and far worse than anything you will ever personally endure, God willing.