Something that caught my eye recently was an article written by Diamond Producers Association CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr, entitled "Diamonds Make the World a Better Place." Formed under immense pressure hundreds of miles deep in the Earth's mantle, diamonds are billion-year old miracles of nature. Their power to communicate sincerity and emotion without words is unmatched, making diamonds the ultimate symbol of love and commitment.
Something that most consumers today are not aware of, however, are the significant contributions to the world that diamonds make. While many people have heard the old stories about conflict diamonds, there are many examples of diamonds transforming mining regions and communities that you haven't heard.
For example, Lieberherr notes that following the discovery of diamonds in Botswana fifty years ago, the country has completely transformed. Six miles of paved roads has turned to seven thousand. Every child receives free education until the age of thirteen, and secondary schools have climbed from three in total to three hundred!
Through local employment, investment, the construction of infrastructure, and the development of health and education programs, the diamond industry has helped communities maintain and promote their traditional ways of life while bettering their futures.
Like any industry, the diamond industry faces its share of challenges, but few have done more to transform themselves than the diamond industry as a whole.
The Kimberley Process has helped stem the flow of conflict diamonds into the marketplace, and Lieberherr correctly identifies that other voluntary standards such as the Responsible Jewellery Council Code of Practices have been developed, applying all the way from diamond mining to diamond retailing.
For over 125 years, Nielsen's has strived to buy all of our diamonds from companies that go above and beyond to help ensure raised mining standards and improved working conditions. The world of diamonds is not perfect, but overall, it helps make the world a better place.
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