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15 July 2009 @ 10:41 pm
The Blood Daimonds movie.... and Real Blood Diamonds...  

I watched Blood Diamonds last night.
And it totally distrubed me.
I had read about conflict diamonds briefly in one of my devotionals (The Irresistable Revolution), in which the author was saying that, espcailly as Christians, we need to care about workers and where our products are coming from... (and as consumers we have the power to put pressure on companies to make sure that human rights violations are not going on their factories, etc.). But I'd never head of conflict diamonds before, and no more specific information was given, other than some British jewelers go out of their way to ensure that the diamonds they are purchasing were from companies that treated their workers fairly and with digninty.
But God seems to have a way of re-affirming things.
This movie gave me the rest of that specific information.

People are killing each other in the name of GREED, all for the sake of diamonds... for a stupid ROCK!

Yes, this blew my mind.
And it totally changed my way of thinking.
(God seems to be doing that a lot lately... challenging my way of thinking and of the way that I look at the world.)
And I'll never be able to look at a diamond rings the same way again.

Now, of course, though, there is the KIMBERLEY PROCESS, which tries to eliminate illegal conflict diamonds from making it to the market through dirty dealers and cut-throat slavers.
More about the Kimberely Process: http://www.kimberleyprocess.com/
It certainly is a start in the right dirction.
But if you are going to be buying diamond jewelry, find a jeweler who doesn't purchase conflict diamonds. Check this site for ways you can be sure.
Because it seems an awful ironic way to give a diamond as a token of love and commitment when it had been swathed in the blood of innocents to get it to you. *shivers*

I hope that (if I ever get married) whoever I marry is very open-minded and passionate about the same things that I am. Because I'm not so sure I'm gonna want an engagement ring. (Even though I know that buying diamonds from a legit source would keep the workers in those countries in work, 1) I would be afraid that someone would cheat me and I'd actually end up buying a conflict diamond, and 2) I just don't think I'd ever be able to get that stigma out of my head. And I wouldn't want that thought of blood diamonds in my head everytime I looked at the token of my love's affection. It's just frankly sickening.)
Actually, I'm thinking that my tattoo wedding ring idea is looking better and better. Because if you're commiting to forever, why not a tattoo of it? Plus, then I wouldn't have to wear a ring and worry about loosing it...
Yes, I am going to be one hard chick to get unless you are a passionate, people-loving, let's change the world, let's help people, let's actually give a care sort of guy. Yes, indeed, I think.

It's so illogical.
And so so sad.

So let's do something about it!
-->Check to see where your diamonds are coming from.
-->And check out http://www.kimberleyprocess.com/ for more information.
Shalla: choicesshallanelprin on July 16th, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that movie really opened my eyes about diamonds and the situation with the jewelery industry. Add on top of shiny rocks bathed in the blood of the innocent the fact that many diamonds are kept back from the market to control supply and demand and therefore artificially inflate the price of said rock and that the whole "one month salary" and the concept of an engagement ring at all (there used to just be wedding rings) was created by the jewelery industry to increase sales and I'm just generally pissed off about the whole thing.

I want some kind of ring if I ever get married but I don't want a large center stone at all and I'm hoping for a Russian or Canadian diamond. It would make me feel better. Other options I think I'd like are a non-diamond ring made with stones not mined in Africa. I have a friend that wants an onyx center stone (I thing a black center stone is weird, but whatever).
adalia_jeanadalia_jean on July 17th, 2009 08:52 pm (UTC)
That just really blows my mind because I never realized how available diamonds really are. As you said, they are killing people for something that isn't even rare! (They shouldn't when it IS rare, but the fact that it is NOT rare just makes it all a hundred times worse!) Greed, it's really sickenning. (And honestly, I am glad to hear that you are pissed about it too, lol.)

The scary part too is that, as thesarawithanh pointed out below, that even Canadian diamond minings has serious negative impacts on the area and native peoples living there. It really makes me wonder if even if they are not conflict diamonds, if they are worth the trouble at all. And even gold mining exploits workers and destroys their environments and drinking water, as mellymell also said below. And really, there are better and safe ways to mine. It just really bogs my mind. People need to question where their stuff is coming from more...

That would be a really cool idea to still have a ring, but with a different kind of center stone (as long as those as well are not conflict stone as well). Lol, a black stone for an engagement ring does sound a little wierd, but to each her own I guess. I wonder what other cultures give in place of engagement rings...
Melicus officianus: me at arches 2005mellymell on July 16th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
As someone who's interested in gemology and wants to get into the gem trade eventually, this movie really spoke to me. It's up to both dealer and consumer to find out where your stones are coming from and how. The information is readily available for any certified/graded stone. And if it's not, don't buy it!

That said, most of my gems come from India and Brazil (huge amethyst and well, all types of quartz market down there). But then, I'm not into diamonds just yet either.

I've read horrible articles on the gold trade in South America as well. Mines that leach awful chemicals into the water supplies of small villages, mercury poisoning and such. And in such impoverished areas! Seems completely backwards. Shouldn't these areas benefit from the riches that are dug from their lands? Especially if the effects are poisoning their homes? Again, we just need to be more mindful about where our supplies come from. In this aspect, I'm all for the recycling of old material before mining for new. There's plenty of old unwanted and broken jewelry laying around in most people's houses that could be melted down and reused into something new.
thesarawithanh: may the quartz be with youthesarawithanh on July 17th, 2009 07:11 am (UTC)
if you're fascinated by mining and what it does, go check out the proposed sulfide mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and help try and stop it...


and as far as the locals benefiting from the materials being mined in their backyard... doesn't happen so much. Shoot! Look at central Appalachia and their coal mining... 90% of the mineral rights are outsider-owned!!

you seem swell.
Melicus officianus: me at arches 2005mellymell on July 17th, 2009 12:16 pm (UTC)
I'll definitely look into that! The disturbing thing is, there are environmentally friendly ways to mine (well, for precious metals and gems anyway, I don't know anything about sulfide mining). The thing is, it's not as fast or as large scale. Greed breeds strip mines. And no, you're right, the locals almost never benefit and almost always suffer because of mining projects. It's just really frustrating.

And thanks, you see swell too. :)
adalia_jeanadalia_jean on July 17th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
Geez, I've never even thought that there are better ways for them to mine. (I was just focusing on the part about the way they are going about treating their workers and the locals.) And that just makes it all worse... disturbing, as you say.
adalia_jeanadalia_jean on July 17th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
I will have to go and take a look at this site as well.
I cannot claim to be an environmentalist (since it has always made me very angry how people are more worried about plants and animals than their fellow human beings), but now that I am seeing the effects on the exploited workers and native peoples, I know now that I should learn to care more about the environment as well. Because in other places of the world, it is very bad for people.
adalia_jeanadalia_jean on July 17th, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
That is great that you care. It's discouraging when I meet so many people who simply do not care (even when they know all about stuff like this).

Interesting... I've never before wondered where gems actually came from (though I certainly do now!). But it is interesting, where certain things are coming from in the world. People, myself included, don't often enoough stop to wonder about these things.
How is your jewelry making going, by the way? Didn't you have a site for them? I remember looking at a few of them a while back...

My next thought, after watching Blood Diamonds, was where does our gold come from? And oh man, is that really sad to hear! (And seriously, I'm really starting to dislike a lot of American wedding traditions... diamond rings, gold wedding bands. It's just really ironic!) You are absolutely right--Backwards indeed! (No wonder Greed is listed as one of the seven deadly sins...)
Wow, hey, I've never thought of that before. Recycling old, broken gold jewelry is a great idea. Not many people think of things like that. Really, that should be right up there beside recylcing paper.
thesarawithanh: may the quartz be with youthesarawithanh on July 17th, 2009 07:09 am (UTC)
that's one of my favorite films. ever. it made me cry.

and unfortunately, it's not just conflict stones you have to worry about. In Canada (where there is also diamond mining), you see a lot of negative impact on the Native populations up there. In South Africa, families aren't allowed in mining camps, but they allow sex workers to wander freely... which yes, these guys could say no, but don't, often resulting in them transmitting HIV to their wives...

and mining in general wreaks havoc upon the environment. just... shoot... look at the Berkley Pit in Butte, MT.!!

Did you know that the average cost of an engagement ring is $4,000?
(yes, my jaw hit the floor too when I read that.)

If you decide you want a stone, know where it came from.

I flat out told Kyle that if he ever proposed with a diamond, I'm turning him down on the principle that they are misanthropic and overrated. He instead saved himself the money and got a Montana sapphire (mined in Phillipsburg... 2 hours from where we live. He paid $330 for the entire ring. A steal, really.)You can also sometimes find garnets in Phillipsburg as well. You can find diamonds at Crater of Diamonds Ntnl. Park in Arkansas if you want one of those. Tourmalines can be found in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, as well as garnets (well... not gem quality ones, but still...) and other neat minerals. If you want an emerald, go to Hiddenite, N.C., and New Mexico/Arizona have turquoise and opal.

and I agree... it's only a stupid rock. Diamonds, while pretty, are not terribly rare (rubies and emeralds are more rare than diamonds.) The markup on them is ridiculous. And frankly, a diamond might be forever, but so would be the blood on your hands.
adalia_jeanadalia_jean on July 17th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
It certainly is touching, and a much needed wake up call. Beautiful cimematically as well.

I truly feel bad for the Native populations in both America and Canada. They are given the worst options every time.
You always hear about oil drilling and stuff like that, but never what mining for JEWELS is doing to the environment and to native and surrounding people.
The Aids problem in South Africa is just mind boggling. And their certainly isn't enough information about it.

I have not heard of what is happening in at Berkley Pit, but I will have to check it out now...

Geez. It's just a ring! (And probably one that I would eventually end up losing if I had one.)
Really, what possibly surprises me even more is that diamonds aren't really THAT rare--jewelers withhold them to contol the market and keep prices high. *headdesk*

Lol, I am glad that I am not the only one who would now refuse a diamond wedding ring! That is a cool alternative, too.
Oh, thanks for the info. It's helpful to know where to get jewels (or where to suggest buying jewels when trying to educate others) that are conflict free. Thanks :)

"And frankly, a diamond might be forever, but so would be the blood on your hands."
Excellently said!
thesarawithanh: may the quartz be with youthesarawithanh on July 19th, 2009 05:30 am (UTC)
Berkley Pit is now just a hole in the ground full of acid mine drainage outside of butte, mt.

and I've felt that way about gems for a while now... even before I saw this film.

I almost poo'd masonry when I read that about engagement rings. I'm surprised I haven't lost mine yet... honestly.

adalia_jeanadalia_jean on August 2nd, 2009 04:38 am (UTC)
Oh... wow!

Oh, I don't doubt that. You've always been knowledgable about things like this. I've only just begun to realize the reason's why I should care and get involved with issues and that I can make a difference. So, this movie was an eye-opener for yet another issue that I hadn't really heard much about.

I can imagine! I was quite appauled as well.
lige2431lige2431 on November 25th, 2009 06:43 am (UTC)
Diamonds vs. bling.
Too bad there can't be commercials about this reality, the way there are now commercials about the reality of cigarettes.

Prestige is a weird thing. I think it gets to be like a drug sometimes. People will go to some weird lengths to get it.

And then, like many other drugs, it turns out to be not at all satisfying after a while.

There are many kinds of pretty bling that nobody has to die for, or suffer over.

(Gaaah. People can be so weird.)
adalia_jean: hold meadalia_jean on December 4th, 2009 04:03 am (UTC)
Re: Diamonds vs. bling.
"Too bad there can't be commercials about this reality, the way there are now commercials about the reality of cigarettes."
That is something that really bugs me--how the media is pushing "going green" and "stop smoking cigarettes" when people are dying because of other people's blatant greed, which could be stopped given the right amount of exposure...

"Prestige is a weird thing. I think it gets to be like a drug sometimes. People will go to some weird lengths to get it."
Greed is a terrible thing.... :( (Now I understand why they call it one of the Seven Deadly Sins...)

"There are many kinds of pretty bling that nobody has to die for, or suffer over."
You're absolutely right! :)

"(Gaaah. People can be so weird.)"
lol! Yes *sigh* unfortunately, they can be...
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