BOSTON (TheStreet) -- The 2006 film Blood Diamond brought attention to "conflict diamonds," gems mined in war-torn African countries whose proceeds have been used to fund military action. While the problem has been mitigated in recent years, it hasn't disappeared.
To that end, here's how ethical Casanovas can avoid getting blood on their hands while putting a ring on her finger.
What is the Kimberley Process? Based on a United Nations resolution, the Kimberley Process is an international certification system meant to regulate the diamond trade and prevent conflict diamonds from hitting jewelry store shelves. Seventy five countries have agreed to adhere to the process, which requires exporters to transport diamonds in tamper-proof containers and certify that they aren't blood diamonds to the exporter's knowledge. Diamond giant De Beers boasts about its Kimberley Process compliance on its Web site.
Most countries that comply with the Kimberley Process also adhere to the World Diamond Council's System of Warranties. This safeguard requires sellers and suppliers to provide written guarantees that say their diamonds aren't tied to war efforts based on their "personal knowledge."While the aim is true, the Kimberley Process isn't without flaws. For one thing, the system relies on participants' good faith. It isn't legally binding.
"The Kimberley Process is pretty limited because it only guarantees a diamond from the last point of export," says George Mimar, co-owner of MDL Diamonds, a diamond producer and brokerage in Toronto. He recommends that consumers look for retailers that sell diamonds mined from Canada and comply with the Canadian Code of Conduct.