People say diamonds are a girl’s best friend. A friend that makes you happy and proud to have- but can you really trust them? What if you little “friend” on your dainty little finger not only cost a ridiculous amount of money but also cost the lives of innocent people? That would really make you reconsider buying a diamond and make you reconsider whom you trust. See, you really have to be careful where your sparkly, little gem comes from.

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Do you have any idea what it took just to make it to North America? Well, chances are 1000’s of children were killed or captured, people were torn away from their families and over 2.2 billion dollars were used just to smuggle those diamonds into developed countries. Honestly, is it really worth it?

Roughly around 4.5 million innocent people have died from being a part of the blood diamond industry and the RUF is to blame. The Revolutionary United Front has invaded countries, amputated citizens’ limbs, forcefully made people mine for diamonds and captured young children and trained them to be child soldiers. What if one of the humans you spawned was indeed captured by this gruesome and violent group of people? He or she would either be trained to become a vicious beast on a battlefield or used for sexual favours, rape and molestation.

Pure greed is the cause of all this. It amazes me the things people will do just to have money. Speaking of money, you would think that the people that mine these conflict diamonds would at least get fair pay, right? Well, it’s unfortunate to tell you that, that is not the case. On average, a daily pay for a conflict diamond worker is $0.07 according to the World Bank, United Nations and the Kimberly Process. Also, 83% of stores, when asked, if the customers inquire about blood diamonds responded rarely or not at all. It really gets you wondering who’s really getting the money.

The majority of diamonds that are bought and sold are from conflicted areas- specifically Africa.

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Now that we know what’s actually happening in Africa, why on earth are we still supporting the RUF by buying their diamonds? Well, it’s actually quite simple. It is extremely hard to trace the origin of a diamond. Therefore the RUF is still getting away with selling these blood diamonds. In fact, the United States is responsible for the sale of two thirds of the world’s diamonds, which means a large percentage of blood diamonds, are filtered into those two thirds.

As a result of flaws and loopholes in the Kimberly Process, as well as weak governmental controls, we’re still allowing conflict diamonds to leak into the market. By buying diamonds, we are still supporting the blood diamond industry and we are indirectly supporting the Revolutionary United Front. We’re just helping them get more and more money for weapons to put into the hands of the 200,000 child soldiers that are still in Africa today. Everyday they’re fighting for their lives, trying desperately to obtain the approval of their leader so that they don’t get brutally beaten.

How would you like to exist in a living hell everyday? Let alone be a child having to endure this daily torture. You would despise having to go through that, wouldn’t you? So why are you making young, innocent children do it? Now, let’s just take a little trip away from reality for a bit. Imagine a world with no war, no racism, no homophobia, no poverty and most importantly- no blood diamond industry. The people of Africa would be living a life full of safety, love and equality. No more violence, no more kidnapping and no more RUF. All of our diamonds would come from non-conflicted areas and we would in no way be supporting the Revolutionary United Front. Seems too good to be true doesn’t it?

Well, unless we put a stop to this cruel operation, we might as well kiss that kind of life goodbye. Just by not purchasing these diamonds you could change the lives of millions because as a result of no diamond sales, the RUF has nothing to make money off of. We would be able to eliminate the conflict between the Military and the RUF since the whole reason there’s friction between these two parties is because of the continuation of the diamond trade. Also, the profits made off of these diamonds are worth billions but unfortunately the money is just going to towards buying weapons that will be used for war thus making the situation worse. Look, I know a diamond is tempting, but is it really that big of a gain?

As a consumer, I believe that it should be your responsibility to be cautious with your diamond shopping since you could be fuelling the RUF’s dangerous diamond deals. Think to yourself the next time you’re planning on buying a
diamond. Think about if it’s really worth it- all of those lives stolen, just to make money off your tiny gem. You see, when people buy diamonds, they usually look for the 4 Cs. Colour, cut, clarity and carat weight, which determines the value. However, there is one more C to ask about before you make your purchase and it stands for conflict.

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