#SWAAYthenarrative
BETA
Close

7 Ways To Buy An Ethically Sourced Diamond

Culture

We are all familiar with the song turned popular phrase, Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. So naturally, you want to make sure that your ‘best friend’ is beautiful yet responsibly sourced. Whether you are diamond shopping for an engagement and wedding ring, or a ‘just because’ gift for yourself or someone else, do consider these options to ensure that your diamond choice is an ethical one.


1. Know the Kimberley Process

In 2003, the U.S. Government signed the Clean Diamond Trade Act, which implemented the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. The Kimberley Process unites administrations, civil societies and the industry in reducing the flow of conflict diamonds, which are also known as rough diamonds used to finance wars against governments around the world. The act requires that all diamonds imported to or from the United States have a Kimberley Process Certificate. Be sure to purchase your diamond from a jeweler that requires a mandate for this process.

Photo Courtesy of The Balance

2. Choose a Canadian Diamond

You will find that these are beautiful diamonds from the highest quality diamond mines in the frozen Canadian tundra. The pristine environment allows for some of the cleanest diamond roughs in the world. A Canadian diamond, such as Northern Lights, comes with a Certificate of Origin proving it is mined, cut and polished in Canada—which has strict environmental regulations for mining, cutting and polishing as well as a commitment to social responsibility.

3. Know Your Supplier

Know your supplier. De Beers, the world’s leading diamond company, produces Forevermark diamonds which come with a guarantee that each one was mined with stringent criteria on responsible sourcing. These diamonds are genuine, untreated and natural. Though you can’t trace your Forevermark diamond back to the exact mine where it came from, the company invests significantly in local communities by building schools and hospitals near its mines. Selected by hand, less than one percent of the world’s diamonds are eligible to become a Forevermark diamond.

Photo Courtesy of Diamond Foundry

4. Love for the Lab-Grown

Although traditional diamond mines have gone to great lengths to offset the environmental impact of mining, lab-grown diamonds’ environmental impact is significantly less than that of a mined diamond. You can, with 100 percent certainty, know the origin of your diamond with this eco-friendly option. Likewise, a lab-grown diamond has the same exceptional color, clarity, beauty and brilliance as a mined one because it is identical in composition. If you’re sensitive to how products you own are produced, as owner of a lab-grown diamond you can take pride in knowing your diamond had less impact on the Earth. This makes it an affordable and attractive option too. To explore the world of lab diamonds, click here.

After you have identified an ethically sourced diamond that you love, it's time to decide on the design of your new ring or another jewelry gift. Luckily, someone who is trying to stay eco-friendly and fashionable can have the best of both worlds with either a classic solitaire, stackable jewelry, and fancy diamond shapes — three of the hottest trends of 2017/2018.

5. Eco-friendly Classic Solitaires

When it comes to a woman's jewelry wardrobe, classic solitaries and pendants are staples. These simplistic, yet beautiful items can be found in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Classic solitaire rings, necklaces, and earrings are traditional pieces of jewelry that have made a huge comeback. Many people are looking for a clean, yet a dainty piece of jewelry that they can either wear casually or dress up for a special occasion. Solitaries are a very popular lab-grown diamond, containing the same quality of color, beauty, brilliance, and clarity as a mined diamond would have.

6. Go-green with Stackable Jewelry

Why only wear one piece of jewelry when you can show off multiple? One of the hottest trends in jewelry is layering and stacking pieces together. Whether you stack rings, necklaces, bracelets, etc. they all can make a bold statement with any outfit. Most stackable jewelry also contains mixed metals, gemstones, styles and more between each piece which gives every look a hint of glam and personality. The style options are limitless, making it easy for someone to combine ethically sourced jewelry pieces for that extra chic appeal.

7. Ethically Sourced Fancy Diamond Shapes

Fancy diamond shapes have been one of the hottest trends in 2017 and are forthcoming for 2018 as well. Vintage-inspired shapes such as emerald, pear, marquise, oval and more are gaining increased attention due to the uniqueness and personality that they bring to your jewelry collection. Each fancy shape acquires excellent versatility and looks great in almost any style of ring, necklace or earring design. With each shape already possessing a unique look to them, having them ethically sourced makes them even more exceptional. With that said, all of these shapes can be mined or created in a lab. Eco-friendly couples who want an ethically sourced diamond but also something extraordinary, fancy-shaped diamonds are the way to go.

Our newsletter that womansplains the week

Choosing the Right Corporate Structure: Which Business Entity Should You Go With?

Business entities can be defined as the corporate, tax and legal structures which an organization chooses to officially follow at the time of its official registration with the state authorities. In total, there are fifteen different types of business entities, which would be the following.


  • Sole Proprietorship
  • General Partnership
  • Limited Partnership or LP
  • Limited Liability Partnership or LLP
  • Limited Liability Limited Partnership or LLLP
  • Limited Liability Company or LLC
  • Professional LLC
  • Professional Corporation
  • B-Corporation
  • C-Corporation
  • S-Corporation
  • Nonprofit Organization
  • Estate
  • Cooperative Organization
  • Municipality

As estates, municipalities and nonprofits do not concern the main topic here, the following discussions will exclude the three.

Importance of the State: The Same Corporate Structure Will Vary from State to State

All organizations must register themselves as entities at the state level in United States, so the rules and regulations governing them differ quite a bit, based on the state in question.

What this means is that a Texas LLC for example will not operate under the same rules and regulations as an LLC registered in New York. Also, an LLC in Texas can have the same name as another company that is registered in a different state, but it's not advisable given how difficult it could become in the future while filing for patents.

To know more about such quirks and step-by-step instructions on how to start an LLC in Texas, visit howtostartanllc.com, and you could get started with the online process immediately. The information and services on the website are not just limited to Texas LLC organizations either, but they have a dedicated page for guiding fresh entrepreneurs through the corporate tax structures in every state.

Sole Proprietorship: Default for Freelancers and Consultants

There is only one owner or head in a sole proprietorship, and that's what makes it ideal for one-man businesses that deal with freelance work and consulting services. Single man sole proprietorships are automatic in nature, therefore, registration with the state is unnecessary.

Sole proprietorships are also suited to a degree for singular teams such as a small construction crew, a group of handymen, or even miniature establishments in retail. Also, this puts the owner's personal financial status at jeopardy.

Due to the fact that a sole proprietorship entity puts all responsibilities for paying taxes and returning loans, it directly jeopardizes the sole proprietor's personal belongings in case of a lawsuit, or even after a failed loan repayment.

This is the main reason why even the most miniature establishments find LLCs to be a better option, but this is not the only reason either. Sole proprietors also find it hard to start their business credit or even get significant business loans.

General Partnership: Equal Responsibilities

The only significant difference between a General Partnership and a Sole Proprietorship is the fact that two or more owners share responsibilities and liabilities equally in a General Partnership, as opposed to there being only one responsible and liable party in the latter. Other than that, they more or less share the same pros and cons.

Registration with the state is not necessary in most cases, and although it still puts the finances of the business owners at risk here, the partnership divides the liability, making it a slightly better option than sole proprietorship for small teams of skilled workers or even small restaurants and such.

Limited Partnership: Active and Investing Partners

A Limited Partnership (LP) has to be registered with a state and whether it has just two or more partners, there are two different types of partners in all LP establishments.

The active partner or the general partner is the one who is responsible and liable for operating the business in its entirety. The silent or investing partner, on the other hand, is the one who invests funds or other resources into the organization. The latter has very limited liability or control over the company's operations.

It's a perfect way for investors to put their money into a sector that they are personally not experienced with, but have access to people who do. From the perspective of the general partners, they have similar responsibilities and liabilities to those in a general partnership.

It's the default strategy for startups to find funding and as long as the idea is sound, it has made way for multiple successful entrepreneurial ventures in the recent past. However, personal liability still looms as a dangerous prospect for the active partners to consider.

Limited Liability Company and Professional LLC

Small businesses have no better entity structure to follow than the LLC, given that it takes multiple good ideas from various corporate structures, virtually eliminating most cons that are inherent to them. Any and all small businesses that are in a position to or are in requirement of signing up with their respective state, usually choose an LLC entity because of the following reasons:

  • It removes the dangerous aspect of personal liability if the business falls in debt or is sued for reparations
  • The state offers the choice of choosing between corporation and partnership tax slabs
  • The limited legalities and paperwork make it suited for small businesses

While more expensive than a general partnership or a sole proprietorship, a professional LLC is going to be a much safer choice for freelancers and consultants, especially if it involves risk of any kind. This makes it ideal for even single man businesses such a physician's practice or the consultancy services of an accountant.

B, C and S-Corporation

By definition, all corporation entities share most of the same attributes and as the term suggests, they're more suited for larger or at least medium sized businesses in any sector. The differences between the three are vast once you delve into the tax structures which govern each entity.

However, the basic differences can be observed by simply taking a look at each of their definitive descriptions, as stated below.

C-Corporation – This is the default corporate entity for large or medium-large businesses, complete with a board of directors, a CEO/CEOs, other executive officers and shareholders.

The shareholders or owners are not liable for debts or legal dispute settlements in a C-Corporation, and they may qualify for lower tax slabs than is possible in any other corporate structure. On becoming big enough, they also have the option to become a publicly traded company, which is ideal for generating growth investments.

B- Corporation – the same rules apply as a C-Corporation, but due to their registered and certified commitment to social and environmental standards maintenance, B-Corporations will have a more lenient tax structure to deal with.

S-Corporation – Almost identical to a C-Corporation, the difference is in scale, as S-Corporations are only meant for small businesses, general partnerships and even sole proprietors. The main difference here is that due to the creation of a pass-through entity, aka a S-Corporation, the owner/owners do not have liability for business debt and legal disputes. They also are not taxed on the corporate slab.

Cooperative: Limited Application

A cooperation structure in most cases is a voluntary partnership of limited responsibilities that binds people in mutual interest - it is an inefficient structure due to the voluntary nature of its legal bindings, which often makes it unsuitable for traditional business operations. Nevertheless, the limited liability clause exempts all members of a cooperative from having personal liability for paying debts and settling claims.

This should clear up most of the confusion surrounding the core concepts and their suitability. In case you are wondering why the Professional Corporation structure wasn't mentioned, then that's because it has very limited applications. Meant for self-employed, skilled professionals or small organizations founded by them, they have less appeal now in comparison to an LLC or an S-Corporation.