Quick and Easy Buying Guide

Carat weight: 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 6.5 mm diameter. Doubling weight doesn't double diameter.

Diamond clarity: FL/IF/VVS/VS = super expensive, near perfect. SI = best value if you can check a photo for obvious inclusions (defects).


Color: D-G = colorless, expensive, only if you have money to burn. H-J = best value. Can go lower in gold metal settings than white metal.

Cut: Better cut ratings let more light into a diamond, making it sparkle more. Very important property, don't skimp here.

Set a budget and minimum cut (Premium). Go J color for gold and I/H for white metals. Go searching for SI1/SI2 clarity diamonds at James Allen. Pick a diamond with small/no inclusions. Choose a ring setting and buy it risk-free (60-day returns).

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (Kpcs)

If you've done your research on conflict diamonds, then you have probably heard of the Kimberley process. The Kimberley process was a system of safeguards introduced in the early 21st century by the United Nations and South Africa to help stop diamonds involved in funding human rights abuses and war reaching the market.

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It should be noted that the scheme primarily applies to only rough diamonds, not the final polished products. In order for a country to be a member of the Kimberley process, it must make sure that any diamond it exports or imports is not involved in funding war or other undesirable activities such as deposing of a UN recognised government.

So how widespread is adherence to the Kimberley process? The entire European community is a member, which obviously involves many individual countries. On top of that there are many dozens of other countries which are members or signatories.

The process, although the general idea was well received, has been the subject of much controversy, and the controversy is ongoing. There have been many recorded instances of diamond supposedly covered under the Kimberley process being discovered to be likely candidates for being labelled as conflict diamonds. This has resulted in expulsions of countries such as the Republic of the Congo in 2004.

There is also the criticism, like the United Nations, the Kimberley process is toothless. A good example of this is the country Venezuela, which was not compliant with the process and refused to communicate with Kimberley process administrators.

If you insist when you buy a diamond on having it proven to you that it is conflict free, this will drastically increase the chances of you avoiding accidentally buying a conflict diamond. You just need to be aware that part of this guarantee may rely on the Kimberley process, which is by no means perfect.