Thursday, May 25, 2006

Kimberley Process and Conflict Diamonds

We deal only in non-conflict diamonds. Our diamonds are purchased from a DTC Sightholder, and all requirements of the Kimberley Process are stringently followed.

What is a conflict diamond?

In 1998, the world became aware that certain rebel movements in Africa were selling, among other things, illegally obtained diamonds – known as conflict diamonds – to fund their wars against legitimate and internationally recognized governments. In 1998, the non-governmental organization (NGO) Global Witness first brought to the world’s attention the fact that UNITA, a rebel group in Angola, was funding its war against Angola’s legitimate government through the control, and subsequent sale, of rough diamonds. These rough diamonds have since become known as conflict diamonds. Today, we also know that rebel groups in Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo were also funding their wars against the legitimate governments through the control, and subsequent sale, of conflict diamonds. Most recently, with the establishment of peace in Sierra Leone and Angola and a cease-fire in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the volume of conflict diamonds being traded is significantly lower. However, the diamond industry regards this as no reason for complacency and remains fully committed to introducing measures and procedures that will protect legitimate channels of distribution from any potential conflict diamond infiltration.

What is the Kimberley Process?
In order to fully combat the scourge of conflict diamonds, on November 5, 2002, fifty-two governments ratified and adopted the final Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. In essence, these countries have agreed that they will only allow for the import and export of rough diamonds if those rough diamonds come from or are being exported to another Kimberley Process participant.

Retailers have a crucial role to play in helping to ensure that the System of Warranties is both employed and effective. Retailers are therefore required to insist that their suppliers provide warranties for all diamonds polished after January 1, 2003. It is also recommended that retailers:
• Inform your suppliers in writing that you will require a warranty;
• Retain these warranties for at least five years.

The international diamond industry employs some two million people around the world, many in third world and developing countries. The vast majority of the world’s diamonds come from sources that aid development and provide sustainable employment. Diamonds, like other natural resources, are vital to the economic development of a number of countries in Africa and elsewhere in the world. Given good governance and the rule of law, diamonds are a vital source of revenue for the building of infrastructure
and essential social services. The measures agreed on by the industry within the Kimberley Process are designed to protect the interests of all countries with diamond interests, whether they be producing, processing or consuming nations.

Please find more information on this at: Kimberley Process and World Diamond Council. You can also check our FAQ's section for more information on our policies.

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