What Are Blood Diamonds and Where Do They Come From?


   Slavery exists  today, in many different forms but nowhere as blatant as in the mining of diamonds and precious metals. 

Blood Diamonds (Diamonds mined in a war zone and used to finance wars) are the first to come to mind, especially if you

have seen their portrayal so brilliantly laid out, in the shocking and amazingly true to life Leonardo DiCaprio Blockbuster “Blood Diamond.” 

A lot of diamond producing countries not at War, have unethical mining conditions, the mines in Venezuela are on a par with the mines of Victorian England, 

children working their fingers to the bone every day, in an unsafe environment where a mine cave in is a regular occurrence.

Venezuela does not participate in any regulating organizations and the diamonds are often smuggled through Guyana, where paperwork is forged.

Human suffering in the diamond mines is at its most apparent in African Countries. Sierra Leone and Angola are two of the worst but Zimbabwe,

Liberia, Republic Of Congo and The Democratic Republic of the Congo are guilty of far from ethical mining practices.

Sierra Leone, is a country of six million people consisting of many different Ethnic groups. There is constant power struggles between the groups, this and

government corruption led to a bloody civil war between 1991 and 2002 which  was funded by the illicit  trade of  diamonds. 

Diamonds and gold are mined in Sierra Leone. The civil war and mining practices there were the catalyst of the movie

“Blood Diamond.” 80% of the army were children, boys and girls, between the ages of  7 and 14 years old. Blood Diamonds, also funded the civil war in Angola,

it lasted three decades and killed over 500,000 people. Although the wars in these two countries are over and the money from there

diamonds are not used to fund them, the illicit trade of diamonds still continue, now more  due to the  greed of corrupt governments.  

The workers often children are basically slaves,  Beatings, often to death with machetes and rifle butts are a daily occurrence, in 2009 the army in 

Angola buried 45 miners alive. Although organizations such as the Kimberly Process have tried to regulate the diamond trade, they have not been successful. 

Just because they have certified diamonds as “Conflict Free”  does not guarantee that they free of violence, or other atrocities.

It is hard to believe that, we here in the west were ignorant of the degradation behind those beautiful jewels and precious metals for so long, 

the illicit diamond trade was not really exposed internationally until 1998 and it was really only after Leonardo Dicaprio and Djimon Hounsou’s 

amazing performances in the 2006 movie, that the human suffering became common knowledge. Now we know, we need to

make sure that we only buy our jewelry from a company that, does not only promise ethical and eco-friendly jewelry but a company that checks there

suppliers all the way back to there source. At Bashford our Diamonds are mined in accordance with strict labor and  environmental laws. Certified and fully traceable.

Bashford is passionate about Ethics. For the word ethical to succeed and have meaning, it must have three main ingredients: Truth, Transparency and Traceability. 
We offer responsibly-mined and fully-traceable  diamonds. These are guaranteed 100% natural and free of any treatments.

The diamonds can be tracked through audited processes to ensure their traceability. 

Bashford has always specialised in providing traceable and ethically-sourced diamonds and coloured gemstones. Therefore, it was very important to find a source of diamonds that matched our company’s values. Through one of our trusted partners we were introduced to CanadaMark diamonds, which are the ideal fit for us.

Every CanadaMark diamond is:

  • Responsibly-mined in Canada’s Northwest Territories.
  • 100% natural and untreated.
  • Tracked through audited processes at every stage from place of origin to polished stone.
  • Cut & polished to a very high standard exclusively by approved manufacturers. (who have been audited themselves)
  • Guaranteed by the CanadaMark hallmark program which provides an independent verification that a diamond is of Canadian origin.

These stunning gems are sourced by the Dominion Diamond Corporation from the Ekati and Diavik mines in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

canadamark-inscription

Each diamond is laser-inscribed with the CanadaMark logo and a unique serial number, as well as being given its own certificate card. The stones are cut and polished by approved manufacturers and independently audited to ensure their traceability.

Canadian environmental protection laws require that a thorough environmental assessment be carried out before a diamond mine can be approved, that effective systems are in place to protect local wildlife, and that the land be restored once mining has ceased.

Canadian miners are also protected by strict health and safety regulations and Canadian employment laws preclude child labour and any form of “sweatshop” working conditions.

As part of their commitment to preserving the environment, the mines are also signatories to specific environmental agreements that involve local groups and the government.

Unless you know where a diamond was mined and cut, you cannot be certain that it was ethically produced. Canada is currently the only country in the world to operate a system to monitor and track diamonds from the mine in this way.

If you are interested in purchasing responsibly-mind diamonds then please contact us at: support@bashfordjewelry.com