Conflict Diamonds

What are 'Conflict' or 'Blood' diamonds?

'Conflict' or 'blood diamonds' are terms that have been given to diamonds that are used to fund forces or factions in military action in areas where there is opposition to legitimate and internationally recognised governments.

The rough diamonds have and are being used by rebel forces to finance arms purchases and other illegal activities. Once a rough diamond is brought to market it can be difficult to trace, and then once polished, impossible.

The main affected areas are Angola, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone. There have been horrific atrocities, mutilations and unnecessary deaths in conjunction with the illegal trading of diamonds.

Action

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was formed in 2002 and started to implement its rules in 2003. This scheme is run by international governments, the industry (represented by the World Diamond Council) and civil societies (Global Witness and Partnership-Africa-Canada) have played key roles. It requires its members to certify their shipments of rough diamonds as "conflict free". As of September 2007, the Kimberley Process had 48 members representing 74 countries. The Kimberley Process' members represent 99.8% of the global trade in rough diamonds.

This process aims to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate trade and, in time, stem the supply of arms and funds that are fuelling the wars in these troubled countries:

"Under the terms of the KPCS, participating states must meet 'minimum requirements' and must put in place national legislation and institutions; export, import and internal controls; and also commit to transparency and the exchange of statistical data. Participants can only legally trade with other participants who have also met the minimum requirements of the scheme, and international shipments of rough diamonds must be accompanied by a KP certificate guarenteeing that they are conflict-free." (Quote from www.kimberleyprocess.com)

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is proving to be very effective. It has, within only 5 years of its commencement, curbed the trade in rough diamonds from 15% to a fracton of 1% of global diamond trade. This decrease in the presence of conflict diamonds on the global can put a buyer's mind at ease, knowing that they are not aiding in the supply of funds to these illegal forces They are, in complying with the Kimberley process, aiding a better future, growth and possibility for development for these countries that have, for many years, been troubled by the wars and atrocities that have come about from the illegal trade in rough diamonds.

Progression

In order for the continuing success of the Kimberley Process, it is important for the participants in the diamond trade, rough and polished, to support it. This means buying from legitimate sources and following the verification process through from start to finish. So wherever you enter the process of buying diamonds, be sure that:

a) you are buying a real diamond;

b) the company you buy from supports the Kimberley Process and makes it an integral part of their supply chain; and

c) the diamond has a certificate from an independent grading laboratory.

1791 Diamonds Ltd

At 1791 Diamonds we take the issue of conflict diamonds very seriously. We do not procure or sell conflict diamonds. Our diamonds are purchased from reputable dealers who buy through a supply chain that is adherent to the Kimberley Process.

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