Diamonds have long been a universal status symbol in the fashion and jewelry world. They form the centerpieces of luxurious engagement rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, cufflinks, and other fine jewelry.
Their rare beauty and light-play are cherished around the world, and they are especially meaningful because no two diamonds are alike. For this reason, diamonds have come to symbolize everlasting love and unwavering commitment.
However, many people aren’t aware of how diamonds are sourced. Each diamond has a story to tell, and in some cases, that story can be disturbing. These are the stories of unethical diamonds, also popularly known as “blood diamonds.”
What is a “Blood Diamond”?
The United Nations used the phrase “blood diamond” in the 1990s to describe diamonds unethically mined amid the devastation caused by civil conflicts in western and central Africa. Rebel organizations sought to exploit diamond-rich African countries including Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone. This exploitation wreaked havoc on both the people and natural resources in these regions.
Blood diamonds were sold directly to merchants after being mined or smuggled into a neighboring country. The precious stones were combined with officially obtained diamonds and then sold on the open market. Profits from the blood diamond trade were re-invested in the illicit enterprise, and monies were used to buy weapons and military equipment for rebel organizations.
New technology ensures diamonds are sourced ethically
A high-tech company called Sarine is now able to verify the source of a diamond using sophisticated technologies including artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, the company’s technology can tell the story of the diamond’s entire journey from mine to jewelry store. A diamond travels through many hands before reaching the display case. Diamond tracing is the only way to verify that the stones came from an ethical source. Sarine has finally solved the industry’s problem with traceability.
The way it works involves a digital chain of custody, beginning at the mine. Using Sarin’s system, the producer scans and creates 3D models of the rough diamonds. This is also where vital data is recorded, such as the producer’s name and country of origin. When the stone is delivered to each manufacturer in the supply chain, data such as the producer’s name and product ID are collected and stored in the cloud.
The stone’s fingerprint is examined and matched to the 3D model captured by the producer. If the stone matches the computer model on file, the verified diamond is registered with its new custodian. After each stage of production is completed, the diamond proceeds to its next registration point, where the polished stone is once again matched with the digital fingerprint for validation. In the final step, the cut and polished stone is transferred to Sarine’s AI lab.
The stone undergoes another verification process by comparing its properties to those registered during all the previous stages. With the diamond’s journey complete, consumers are provided with a comprehensive authentication report that documents the diamond’s travels from start to finish. The report includes the diamond’s digital “DNA,” including cut, color clarity and carat; and every artisan involved in the process.
The hallmark feature of this systematic procedure is that there is always a digital verification in a chain of custody from point to point, making Sarine diamonds and their history impossible to fake.
The blood diamond industry can be eliminated
Diamonds are symbols of love and commitment, but in corrupt, war-torn countries where diamonds are abundant, they can be products of violence and exploitation. It’s important to recognize and remember the horrors associated with blood diamonds so despotic regimes don’t profit from the misery of others. This is one reason why Sarine has developed what they call the “Diamond JourneyTM” traceability technology.
Not only does the sophisticated technology document diamond authenticity, but it prevents unethical diamonds from being sourced and sold to the public.
An ethical diamond is a true symbol of love; one that can be passed down from one generation to the next. A Sarine diamond has a history and story that is intertwined with a family’s legacy.