September 2009

How to Buy Green and Fair Trade Jewelry

When my husband presented me with a diamond engagement ring, I didn’t react like a lot of other girls might have; I was pretty pissed off.

You might scoff at the idea of being angry with such a gift, but I had no way of determining whether or not it was a fair trade piece—or a blood diamond.

Sure, we have the Clean Diamond Trade Act and official bans on importing diamonds from countries where such war diamonds—or diamonds sold to fund bloody wars, usually mined by enslaved people—but can you ever really be sure it’s not the one you’re wearing? After all, though the executive order was issued in 2001 to stop importing from the Sierra Leone, there are plenty of other ways to get them from neighboring African countries—not to mention, what of the diamonds we purchased prior to the ban?