Diamonds sold with proper certification are mined from age-old mines. Legal diamond mines are owned by the country’s government or huge private companies. They register the mines as company assets and sell diamonds found in them through a registered organization. Such organizations must provide proper salaries and facilities to their employees who mine, cut and polish their diamonds. The diamonds are then sold in the world market, and the jewelry industry uses them to create fine jewelry.
On the other hand, conflict diamonds are collected from areas controlled by rebels or warlords/criminals as well as unethical businessmen. There are several conflict-prone zones in the world, from well-known Sierra Leone to Zimbabwe, Congo, Liberia, and Angola, where conflict diamonds are mined. Rebel groups fighting against governments in these countries often hold civilians as prisoners. They make the prisoners work in the diamond mines and force them to work in inhuman conditions for long hours without basic rights.
Conflict diamonds are available for nearly 50% less than those purchased from registered mines. Hence, diamond companies engage in shadow activities that keep the rebel groups active to ensure a standard supply of cheap diamonds. Consequently, the war-torn countries' vulnerable political and economic environment is exploited by multinational companies to earn millions of profits. They might even indirectly fund political instability in areas where diamond mines are located to ensure constant havoc.