Ethics and Stones?

posted 3 years ago in Rings
  • poll: How concerned are you with the ethical source of your diamonds and gemstones?
    No matter what (even if it has 'ethical source' papers) I won't buy a stone. : (4 votes)
    3 %
    If it has 'ethical source' papers I'm fine with it, even if it costs more. : (32 votes)
    27 %
    If it has 'ethical source' papers I may hesitate, but I'll probably buy it, even if it costs more. : (12 votes)
    10 %
    I'd like 'ethical source' papers, but won't pay more money for them. : (19 votes)
    16 %
    It's not really a big deal to me where my stones come from. : (44 votes)
    37 %
    Other.... : (7 votes)
    6 %
  • Post # 3
    980 posts
    Busy bee

    Nne of the poll options fit 100% for me. I’d prefer an ethically sourced diamond, but I would buy a non ethically sourced one too. I voted for the 3rd option.

    I can’t imagine ever questioning someone on whether or not theirs was ethically sourced though. 

    Post # 5
    164 posts
    Blushing bee

    @renwoman:  I didn’t realize people in real life actually questioned others about ethically sourced/conflict free diamonds. Kind of makes me nervous, since I don’t even know what I would say. To me it’s like asking someone if the shirt they were wearing was ethically made, and not made in the Bangladesh garment industry. How do you respond?

    Post # 6
    9204 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2018

    Well I did care about where it came from, but the store, not where it came from before that. I honestly didn’t think about whether it was conflict free/ethically sourced.

    Post # 7
    84 posts
    Worker bee

    I would care, I have seen so many things in Europe and Asia about unethical situations and it affects me too much, nothing in my life (if I’m aware of it and can help it) will come from other people’s misery. Personally it will take away my own happiness because of it so I would just not be comfortable owning it, not only diamonds but cloths and other things as well.
    However, I don’t go around judging other people about it and what they are comfortable with or from where they buy their things. 
    So guess I’m saying, each up to their own 🙂

    Post # 8
    980 posts
    Busy bee

    @renwoman:  How bizarre! I can imagine it is very awkward I’d probably ask them if their iphone/clothes were ethically sourced haha.

    Post # 9
    355 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    @plantobee:  It probably depends on the field you’re in & your social circle.  I have friends who work in immigration on asylum cases & in Human Rights/Nonprofits, etc.  If you’re working with someone from Africa who has been in that situation, it’s probably best that you’re not wearing something that his friends/family might have lost limbs or died for.


    My stone is ethically sourced. It just seemed right for me, although I would never ask someone about theirs.

    Post # 10
    1826 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: December 2013

    The problem with this debate is whether the same people are questioning whether ALL their purchases are ethically sourced.

    I don’t really want a shirt that has been sewn by a nine year old in a third world country for pennies a day either!

    But let’s just look at rings (jewelry) in particular…

    First off, I’m glad you included all gemstones because a lot of people say ‘I won’t buy an unethically sourced diamond’ but they will buy a gemstone without even batting an eye.

    What is to say that is from an ethical source? Is there proof?

    And how about gold? Have you seen the damage that is done mining for gold? They completely raze sections of land including rainforest then just leave when they’re done…and sometimes they find nothing! Generally this is not the locals that are benefitting from this either…they still live in extreme poverty amongst the violence these ‘companies’ cause.

    The question remains…

    What do we do to change it?

    Post # 11
    7664 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

    This is a complex question. Firstly, I seem to remember that there was an investigation into these certifications a while back, and they found that many of them weren’t worth the paper they were printed on. Even very respectable companies were regularly lying about the origin of their products and falsifying documents. Others simply took in country dealers at their word… if the lab in Delhi, or wherever, says that this stone is from here, we can deny all responsibility when it turns out it isn’t.

    The only way to be reasonably certain it isn’t a conflict diamond would be to buy a diamond mined in America, because of the in-country controls, and the fact that they are generally mined and sold within the country of origin.

    Even then, how can you be certain? Warlords and terrorists have their fingers in all sorts of pies. Your jewellery could be funding dirty wars… but so could your ready meals. Who’s to say that the local tinpot dictator doesn’t have shares in Findus?

    Anyway, none of the poll options applied to me, because I buy my jewellery second hand. It’s much cheaper that way. Don’t know what DH does… he tend to buy new jewellery. I’d have to ask him.

    Post # 12
    318 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    My husband didn’t really think of it when he picked out my ring, but he picked tiffanys and they’re very good with the conflict free diamonds.

    Post # 13
    7281 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

    Other. The Kimberly Process is meaningless, so some piece of paper certifying that a stone is “conflict free” in accordance with the Kimberly Process is also meaningless. For my diamonds, only Canadian mined and cut were considered. In addition to the pieces of paper certifying where they come from, each stone is laser engraved for identification purposes. I know that each stone in my ring really did come from a conflict-free country. For other gemstones, I would take it on a case by case basis regarding the source. You can get amazing stones from truly conflict free areas if you try (Montana sapphires, anyone?!). Also, my rings are recycled metal, my wedding dress was made in the UK, and I try to support as many small local businesses as possible. I want the money we spend to count for something and reflect our values. That is important to me.


    Post # 14
    1599 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    @Luayne:  exactly this.  “Ethical sourcing” paperwork is, by and large, a farce and just a touchy-feely label to put on a stone.  Mining diamonds/stones/precious metals is incredibly damaging to the environment no matter where it is done, and there are billions of dollars that are laundered through the industry regardless of where the stone comes from.  Plus, it’s virtually impossible to know where a stone comes from- even laser-inscribed stones are widely tracked through self-reporting which makes no sense in such a crooked industry.

    I’d be willing to bet that those people who want to start a fight about a diamond’s “source” own iphones or smartphones, which are made by basically slave labor in china and are full of dangerously-mined precious metals.  They also probably don’t weave their own fibers to make the fabric to create whatever clothes they’re wearing- do they know the conditions of the cotton-field worker  who picked the cotton on those jeans?

    Being self-righteous and indignant about one very specific issue (diamonds, the meat industry, etc) doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t profess to live sans-carbon-footprint or with no “blood on my hands” because I find that to be completely unrealistic, even with one’s best efforts… I don’t put much stock or emotion into those who try to profess themselves as holier-than-thou for similar reasons.

    Post # 15
    641 posts
    Busy bee

    @bkrocks13:  This. For parts of it at least. The OP was right to put “ethically sourced” in quotes. As I’ve said before, my ethics and their ethics are very, very different. However, I think it’s a step in the wrong direction to go “Look at other things you have that are aren’t free of human misfortune! Why fuss over my human disfigurement and murder rock?” 

    No. Every small step you can. Every single one. 

    Post # 16
    2687 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID

    @renwoman:  I’ll be straight up honest — I don’t care. This is going to make me seem like a bad person, but I just don’t care. Obviously I wouldn’t look for a stone that is unethical, but I don’t have any emotions towards having an unethical stone versus an ethical one. It’s the same argument for me with cruelty-free cosmetics. I just don’t care. Unfortunately, I like a lot of products too much to give up using them. 

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