How to source the best ethical diamonds for your engagement ring or other jewellery.
If you are thinking about buying a diamond, you may already be aware of the four C’s to look out for; cut, clarity, colour and carat (weight), but what about the fifth question: ethics?
What makes a diamond ethical? If this is an essential question to you when considering the purchase of an engagement ring, or another piece of jewellery, then here are the key factors that you should look out for before making a purchase:
- Can the diamond be traced back to the mine from which it came and does it come with authentication to prove its provenance?
- Was it responsibly mined? i.e., were any wildlife, people, or the environment harmed in the mining of the stone?
- How did it help the community that surrounds the mine?
- Has it been treated in any way, or is it a natural diamond?
Let me introduce you to the ethical world of CanadaMark diamonds, a company that successfully addresses all of the above questions:
CanadaMark diamonds are 100% traceable and come from one of two mines in Canada’s Northwest Territories, just below the artic circle. These are called the Diavik and the Ekati mines.
To prove provenance, each diamond (above 0.3 carats) has a unique serial number lasered onto the girdle of the diamond. It is so small as to be invisible unless under a microscope. This serial number corresponds to a credit card style certificate with the same number.
The fun part is when you enter your serial number on the CanadaMark website, you can follow the journey of your diamond from it’s rough to polished form.
Both CanadaMark diamond mines follow strict environmental laws with great respect for the sustainability of the natural environment and that of the local people. The pristine Northwest Territories are home to many wildlife such as polar bears, caribou, wolves and buffalo all living in harmony with the mines, ensured by indigenous-led wildlife monitoring programs. They also carefully look at their waste management practices.
How does it benefit the community?
The two mines have signed agreements with both the local and the federal governments as well as local indigenous groups stating that they will ensure job creation and invest in community projects that improve the lives of the local residents, this agreement includes education. They also have preferential hiring policies for residents.
Is it natural?
CanadaMark Diamonds are guaranteed to be free from any treatments and should come with a GIA grading certificate like the one below so you can check your 4 C’s as well.
Another of my favourite options is to find a vintage stone and upcycle it into a new ring. I have a wonderful dealer who specializes in old cut diamonds that have a lovely antique quality to them.
Please contact me if you are interested in either a CanadaMark or old cut diamond.