Conflict diamonds

The next time you have a customer come in your shop and ask for
conflict free diamonds you should ask them if they eat chocolate in
any of its myriad forms: candy bars, chocolate milk, mocha lattes,
chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cakes, cocoa, etc. Then you might
respectfully offer them the that 40% of the world’s cocoa
beans, from which chocolate is made, come from the Ivory Coast where
approximately 15,000 child SLAVES work on cocoa, cotton and coffee
farms (this statistic is from the US State Department’s 2000 Human
Rights Report). Tell them when they give up their chocolate, you’ll
give up selling diamonds.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

Tell them when they give up their chocolate, you'll give up selling

Daniel, rather than being so confrontational, wouldn’t it be better
to = simply point out that today, only a very small percentage of
diamonds reaching the market are from “conflict” areas?


I try to avoid engaging in activities which perpetuate human
suffering. The fact that 40% of the world’s chocolate is produced by
child slaves inclines me to either boycott cocoa products or find a
way to restrict my purchasing to the 60% which is not produced by
child slaves. I agree with you that supporting child slavery is
atrocious- the reasonable conclusion is that we should not support
child slavery. It is not reasonable to conclude that the cocoa
statistic justifies trading in conflict diamonds- if you wish to use
the cocoa industry as your ethical benchmark, you could just as
easily argue that, since 40% of the cocoa is produced by child
slaves, you will begin using child slaves to produce your jewelry (I
know you are a good man and would not do that, but the logic of your
argument leads down that path.)

I do think that it is a great idea that you have the discussion with
your customers which you describe below- not that it will sell
diamonds, but it may put some pressure on the cocoa industry :slight_smile: .

Lee Einer

Dear Lee, To give up participation in activities which result in
human suffering is somewhat Utopian. The single greatest cause of
human suffering is wanton procreation. I don’t think people are going
to discipline their sexual activities anytime soon. Western societies
have come to realize the benefits of planned parenthood, but a huge
number of people in the world don’t even know the meaning of
contraception nor do they have access to the means. It is
noteworthy that Italy has acheived a zero population growth rate

Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.

Interesting article on the GIA Insider concerning mandatory certs.
on all diamonds exported. Here’s a link!


Ron, This is subjective but I would have to say that there is no
single cause of human suffering. One of the greatest causes of human
suffering in my opinion is greed. Greed in the form of leaders that
subjugate there populace and rape their own countries of resources.
Building palaces and living off of that suffering, many times in the
name of religion. Throughout history there have been many "conflict"
commodities. Copper, spices, rice. Wherever leaders are willing to
enslave their people there will be suffering. The commodities to
promote the suffering are secondary. The leaders also have
accomplices in the promotion of suffering, weapons dealers. Who
allows children in the Sudan to carry shoulder launched stingers? Who
sold ak-47s and land mines to the Taliban? Who owns this stuff? Where
is it werehoused? Why do we never hear the weapons dealers names in
the media? A conflict breaks out. Within hours, it’s armed. Weapons
flow across borders as easily as water. For me to try and discern
conflict diamonds from non conflict is impossible. I would have to
quit my job and become a plumber. Oh wait, what about copper mining?
I guess I could quit and become a baker. What about farmers and sugar
cane workers? There are no easy answers to these dilemmas. If there
were, we all would live a utopian life style. Italy’s zero population
numbers are admirable. Now if they can just keep their judges from
being assassinated. Just my thoughts. :slight_smile:

Regards J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio