ILA Conflict-Free Diamonds

Conflict Diamonds

At ILA our desire has always been to tell stories through jewelry. Our collections have been inspired by the design sensibilities of our heritage with in-depth attention paid to craftsmanship. It was also part of our goal to design sustainably crafted jewellery. Our ethos has always been grounded in sustainability. All of our diamonds, gemstones and gold are ethically sourced. The diamonds at ILA are conflict-free diamonds and are sourced responsibly. But what exactly does it mean when a diamond is conflict-free and why is it important? To help understand the importance of ethical diamond sourcing, we have compiled a simple guide. 

What are Conflict Diamonds?

The United Nations defines Conflict Diamonds as, “diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the decisions of the Security Council.”

Conflict diamonds are also known as blood diamonds. The production of conflict diamonds arose in the 1990s in civil wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, Guinea Bissau, and Ivory Coast. Some of the diamonds that were mined in these zones were used to fund military operations by forces opposing the government. The labourers would be forced to mine these diamonds. These diamonds would then end up on the market while consumers would be unaware of their brutal origins. 

What is the Kimberley Process?

Distressed by the situation of conflict diamonds, different groups of the diamond industry, the United Nations, government, and multiple NGOs came together to form the Kimberley Process. The Kimberly Process monitors the journey of rough diamonds into the marketplace. The goal was to certify all the rough stones to ensure that no conflict diamonds would make their way into the market. This was done through a certification process. 

The rough diamonds were taken from mines to government offices. The sources were then checked whether they were conflict-free. After the diamonds were inspected, they were issued a Kimberley Process Certificate. These certificates would accompany the diamonds as they were further exported and sold. 

Conflict-Free Diamonds at ILA

At ILA we are committed to offering ethically mined and sourced diamonds. The diamonds at ILA are purchased primarily from De Beers Global Sightholders. As a sight holder, they follow the guidelines of the De Beers Best Practice Principles (BPP). This is also audited annually. The BPP program ensures that each step from rough to polished is done ethically and with accountability. The BPP Requirements facilitate other Social Accountability International (SA8000) practices and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). These practices allow us to go a step beyond the Kimberley Process to ensure your diamond is conflict-free.