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Conflict DiamondsOften called Conflict Diamonds, Blood Diamonds are diamonds which are produced in areas that are unfortunately controlled by rebel forces who are opposed to internationally recognized governments. The rebels sell these diamonds on the black market, and the money which they earn this way is then used to purchase arms or to fund their guerrilla military actions.

Oftentimes, Blood Diamonds are produced through forced labor by men, women and yes, even children. Often, they are stolen during shipment or seized by attacking the mining operations of legitimate stone and gem jewelry producers. These attacks may even be on the scale of large military operations. Then, the stones are smuggled into the international diamond trade and sold as legitimate gems. Such diamonds are often the main source of funding for these rebels, however, smugglers, arms merchants, and dishonest diamond traders make their actions a reality by unknowingly enabling them. Obscenely huge amounts of money are at stake and bribes, torture, threats, and murder are modes of operation. This is why we use the term “blood diamond.”

The flow of Blood Diamonds has originated mainly from Angola, Sierra Leone, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and The Ivory Coast. Currently, The United Nations and other groups such as Amnesty International are working to block the entry of blood diamonds into the worldwide diamond trade. This approach of theirs has been to develop a government certification procedure which is known internationally as the Kimberly Process.

This procedure requires that each country can certify that all rough diamond exports are produced through legitimate mining and sales activity. All rough diamonds that are exported from these nations are then to be accompanied by certificates. These certificates state that the diamonds were originally produced, sold and exported through legitimate channels. The certification process accounts for all of the rough diamonds, through every step of their process, that is, from mine to retail sale. Retail customers buying a cut diamond are encouraged to insist upon a sales receipt that documents that their diamond originated from a conflict free source.

Nations that agree to participate in the Kimberly process aren’t permitted to trade with nonmember Nations. That is good. The Kimberly Process is said to have significantly reduced the number of Conflict Diamonds which are reaching international gem markets. Today 71 governments and several non-governmental organizations adhere to the laws of the Kimberly Process. The only two nations which remain under Kimberly Process sanctions as of December, 2006 were the Ivory Coast and Libya. The World Diamond Council estimates that 99% of all diamonds, today, are conflict free. That means non-blood diamonds.

Black diamonds are known also as carbonados diamonds. This term was coined by the Portuguese-speaking inhabitants of Brazil, back in the mid18th century. The reason? Why, these special diamonds share a visual similarity with porous charcoal. These diamonds are only found in the Central African Republic and of course, as we stated, in Brazil.

Carbonado DiamondsSince the year 1900, approximately 600 tons of conventional diamonds have been traded, mined and polished. However, not a single black diamond has been discovered in the mining fields of the world. The geological settings where diamonds are mined or found are pretty much all the same, that is, with the one single, simple exception, the Black Diamond, of course.

Diamonds are created by very high heat and pressure. The only naturally occurring source of this type of environment on earth is under the earths curst. Conventional diamonds are mined from explosive volcanic rocks (kimberlites) that transport them from depths in excess of 100 kilometers by volcanic action. Where Black Diamonds are found, the geological settings are not compatible with the formation diamonds.

So just exactly how are these rare Black Diamonds made? Researchers at Florida International University seem to believe that Black Diamonds originate in outer space, of all places! The reason for this hypothesis is that Black Diamonds have been known to contain trace elements of hydrogen and nitrogen, which claim the researchers, are sure indicators of an extraterrestrial origin.

The study declaring this hypothesis, published in 2006, analyzed the trace amounts of hydrogen found in black diamond samples using special infrared-detection instruments, found that the quantity seemed to indicate that the mineral formed in a supernova explosion prior to the formation of our Solar System! These diamonds were made by carbon-rich cosmic dust in an environment near carbon stars. The diamonds were then integrated into solid bodies which subsequently fell to Earth as meteorites.

Unlike other diamonds, Black Diamonds are not sparkling, however, these jewels really make stunning jewelry. The value of the beautiful stones and their breath-taking appearance make them popular gifts.

Also, noteworthy information is that there are many myths concerning Black Diamonds, especially ones told in India. Some believe that Black Diamonds resemble the eyes of a snake, and therefore they were dedicated to an Indian god. One huge diamond made a perfect part for a statue of the Buddha. If you want to wear or own a  piece of history then be sure to purchase a Black Diamond. Talk about history! It just might be as old as the Solar System itself…

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