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    Conflict-Free Diamonds: What They Are and How to Find Them

    The next time you find yourself looking for a piece of diamond jewelry, make sure you are purchasing a conflict-free diamond. Here's why.

    Shopping for diamond jewelry used to be very easy. You picked a diamond based on your price range, as well as the cut and the clarity of the diamond. But today's conscious consumer has another clarification to deal with.

    The next time you find yourself looking for a piece of diamond jewelry, make sure you are purchasing a conflict-free diamond, also known as a non-conflict diamond or a worry-free diamond.

    Conflict diamonds, also called blood diamonds, are diamonds that are traded illegally to provide funds for conflict and military action in areas such as western and central Africa. These blood diamonds have been a source of corruption, violence and crimes against humanity. Diamonds that have been mined through some form of child labor, violence or human rights abuses have also been termed conflict diamonds.

    Your purchase of non-conflict diamonds can help put an end to this problem. By making sure your jewelry, or the jewelry that you buy for loved ones, is legal and worry-free you are helping to support the burgeoning safe diamond markets all over the continent of Africa.

    In order to buy non-conflict diamonds, you're going to have to do some legwork. First, research your potential retailer and see if they make it a point to emphasize that their diamonds are conflict free. Jewelers who sell worry-free diamonds often make it a part of their advertising, since this is becoming an important issue for consumers.

    If they don't advertise it, you can visit one of several consumer sites online to research your retailer. You can use these sources to evaluate retailers and make sure that they are doing business legally. Make sure to check out their sources of supply if you can.

    When all else fails, ask your retailer point blank where the diamonds came from and if they are non-conflict. Reputable retailers will be comfortable asking these questions. They will also be familiar with new laws and regulations that have been passed recently on the sale of blood diamonds. If they give you a blank stare when you mention the Kimberley Process and the World Diamond Council's Chain of Warranties, that's a bad sign.

    Reputable retailers will also be comfortable giving you a written guarantee that the diamonds were purchased legally. Under the Kimberley Process, this is part of your rights as a consumer. Make sure you demand this if they provide no other guarantee of the authenticity of the diamonds.

    You can also ask to see the receipts that the retailer has from the purchase of the diamonds. The new laws have conflict free guarantees that reputable retailers and suppliers will use on all of their documentation.

    Although this may seem like a lot of fuss over some jewelry, your purchase can help change practices around the world. Once you find a retailer who guarantees that your purchase is conflict free you can take comfort in enjoying your worry free diamond jewelry.

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