Where do your diamonds come from? - W.R. Metalarts

Where do your diamonds come from?

Diamond sourcing at W.R. Metalarts


Curious about where diamonds come from? Wondering which kind of diamond is right for your jewelry? Don't worry, we've got plenty of ethical choices lined up so you can pick the perfect fit for your project. Let's dive into the different ways diamonds make their way to you - that way you can choose the one that fits best with your values.


Ethically Sourced Natural Diamonds

  • Option 1: Transparently sourced, artisanally mined diamonds
    • At W.R. Metalarts, our preference is to source natural diamonds from ethical small-scale artisanal diamond initiatives. Some such initiatives include Root Diamond and Ethos Diamonds
    • It is important to us to buy diamonds outright from these sources, instead of waiting until the stone is purchased by one of our clients to relay payment to the initiative (which is common in the industry).
    • We think of transparently sourced artisanal diamonds as the pinnacle of ethical diamonds, because they actually create a positive direct impact for miners rather than a negative or neutral impact. 
  • Option 2: Heirloom, reclaimed, or recycled diamonds 
    • Whether you call them heirloom diamonds, reclaimed diamonds, or recycled diamonds, all of these terms just mean that the stone has come out of previously-made jewelry. One great thing about this option is that they hold the value of a newly sourced natural diamond but they are not newly mined. We use post-consumer certified recycled stones for recycled options, or family stones brought to us by clients. This option is a nice choice if you want to make sure that the diamond you are using for your project has not recently been sourced in an exploitative way. 
    • The downside to this option is that we are unable to guarantee that recycled stones have been ethically sourced initially. These diamonds could have been unethically sourced or could've been sourced in a way that was damaging to the environment or exploitative to the people who worked to bring it to you. Using reclaimed stones does not actually create a positive impact. 
    • We try to combat participating in the continued exploitation of workers in the diamond recycling market by utilizing our internal recycling program at the studio. We will trade clients heirloom stones for a credit towards their project and from this we have built up a beautiful library of recycled stones that are looking for new homes in your beautiful project!
  • Option 3: Known-origin newly mined diamonds
    • If you are looking for a newly mined natural diamond, especially a smaller stone - then Canadian mined diamonds could be a good choice for you. We source our newly mined diamonds (including salt & pepper diamonds) from Canada because this is the best option we have found in terms of ethical and sustainable sourcing, even though there is still a long way to go. 
    • Though Canadian diamonds are largely traceable with excellent quality, it is true that Canadian mines have created some of the worst mining and land rights issues, so there is potential for Canadian-mined diamonds to contribute to negative impact. One issue that stands with these stones is that there are more "Canadian-mined" stones in the diamond market than have actually been mined in Canada. As a business we push our suppliers to validate their sourcing claims and encourage others to do the same.

A note on “conflict-free” diamonds

  • It is important to know that the “conflict-free” diamond certification only applies to rough diamonds, not the beautifully cut diamonds that make their way into finished jewelry. We don't believe that conflict-free certifications go far enough to ensure the ethics of our diamonds so we go beyond sourcing stones that are "conflict free." This certification only means that a company has had to prove that profits have not gone to fund civil war activities in certain conflict regions---it does not ensure safe working conditions, fair wages, or safe and sustainable environmental practices. Another growing concern are the labor abuses that take place in large stone cutting factories worldwide, which conflict free certifications do not regulate.


Lab-grown Diamonds

  • Lab-grown diamonds are chemically identical to natural diamonds, but they are more affordable and can even be of higher quality than natural diamonds in terms of hardness and calibration. We typically source our lab-grown diamonds from Stuller, who has a GIA facility in-house to help with verification and testing. 
  • The downside to lab-grown diamonds is that the source is usually unknown, especially now that most US-based lab-grown diamond factories have closed. This means that we can’t always verify where the diamond came from or what conditions are like in the factory. Also, lab-grown diamonds also tend to be shipped all over the world before reaching the client, which has negative environmental implications. 
  • Overall, we view lab-grown diamonds as less ethical or transparent than artisanally mined natural diamonds with known-origin. If you want to learn more about lab-grown diamonds, check out our 'All about Lab-Grown Stones' Blog

Other Special Diamonds

For colorful diamonds, black diamonds, and other specialized stones, we source through certified conflict-free sources - unfortunately we haven't found a more ethical option for these stones yet. If you have specific sourcing preferences for your project just let us know and we can make sure it is a top priority for your project!


Get in touch with us today to bring your dream project to life with the perfect diamond by clicking the chat button on the bottom right of your screen!


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