I have received this product in exchange for my honest review.
When you’re buying fine jewellery with diamonds and other precious gemstones, do you know where they come from? You know why is it important to know where they come from? I’m sure you’ve already heard the term Blood Diamonds. They are also called as conflict diamonds or war diamonds. This is because these gem stones are coming from war zones and their price funds insurgencies, an invading army’s war activities, or makes a warlord’s wealthier. These diamonds are obtained in Central and West Africa: Angola, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia and other extremely poor countries. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in wars fuelled by diamonds in the last and the present century. They are illegally traded, mined during the recent civil wars and with miners working and living conditions are unimaginably horrendous. Warlords use extreme violence in order to force the local people into extracting the diamonds. Despite UN sanctions the illicit diamond trade still exists. The trade of blood diamonds still fuel wars, exploitation, violence and greed. At the very least, we should not be ignorant.
But how can we know that a gemstone is conflict free and ethically traded?
In 2002, in an attempt to eliminate the trade in conflict diamonds which had fuelled wars in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone, fifty-two governments ratified the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme – but unfortunately this still does not provide sufficient guarantee.
The only way to know, that the gem stones are conflict free is to trace them back right to the source. This is what Ingle and Rhode does. They only source gems that are mined, cut and polished by adults working with fair pay and conditions, and produced with due care for the environment. All their diamonds and gemstones can be traced back to their mine of origin.
But let’s not stop at the diamonds and gem stones. All over the world, gold miners often do not receive a fair price for the gold that they produce. They typically work in dangerous conditions, with little or no health and safety measures in place, and child labour is rife. Fair trade gold, coming from one of the four fair trade-certified mining organisations in the world, provides small-scale miners and their communities with the opportunity for better living and working conditions. Ingle & Rhode is one the first jewellers in the world licensed to offer jewellery made with certified fair trade gold.
Recycled gold and platinum
Using recycled material naturally reduces the demand for newly mined metals, thus also reducing the environmentally damaging effects of mining practices. Recycled gold and platinum has the same quality and characteristics as the newly produced metals – this is because of the nature of these precious materials.
I was lucky enough to choose and receive one of their beautiful, contemporary designs form their silver collection: a hummingbird pendant and necklace. It has been crafted in the UK from fair mined sterling silver, completed with a beautiful pair of brilliant cut Canadian diamonds. It looks nice with smart and casual clothes as well and the size of the hummingbird is just right: not too big nor insignificantly small for my taste.
To say that I love this piece of jewellery is an understatement – not only because it’s truly beautiful, very detailed and just as much contemporary as I would like it to be, but also because of how it was made and how the brand brand stands for these ethical standards.
In my view, the importance of buying ethical and conflict free diamonds is enormous. As a customer we do have a responsibility when choosing to buy something and in case of diamonds and other gem stones this means we protect lives. Especially, when it comes to an engagement or wedding ring. They are a piece of jewellery we intend to wear throughout our whole life, so as such a thing, they represent for number of things. It’s good to know that the most important piece of jewellery I can wear is ethically produced with conflict free diamonds, that no one gave their life for my engagement ring in a war conflict financed by the many Blood Diamonds, that are still out on the market.