Blood Diamond Engagement Rings: Do Ethics Matter When You're Proposing?

12/07/2011 04:33 am ET | Updated Dec 07, 2011

On Monday, anti-blood diamond advocacy group Global Witness withdrew its support for the Kimberley Process, a conflict-free diamond certification organization that it helped to found.

Global Witness senior campaigner Annie Dunnebacke said that the Kimberley Process has failed to push back diamonds from conflict zones, most recently approving gems from the Marange fields in Zimbabwe, where the diamond trade has reportedly led to widespread human rights abuses.

"[Zimbabwe is] the most egregious situation that we've seen since the Kimberley Process was launched," Dunnebacke told The New York Times. "Kimberley has really failed to deal with that effectively."

The Kimberley Process was established in 2003 after Global Watch research revealed that the international diamond trade fueled human rights violations, including armed conflict and sexual violence, in some African nations. KP requires participating governments to ensure that diamonds are "conflict-free" before trading them internationally.

But despite widespread publicity of the "blood diamond" controvesy, few retailers can guarantee that their diamonds are conflict-free.

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