Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, well as long as it is not a conflict diamond. These diamonds are diamonds that have been mined in certain African combat zones that fuel civil war and the selling of these diamonds only fund the war which is puts civilians in harm’s way. There is now a global certification process used by major countries that distribute diamonds to keep conflict diamonds from entering the mass market. This certification process is knows as the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme.
The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme was introduced in South African countries in 2000. These South African countries began to start tracking the origins of their diamonds, and this is where the KPCS originated from. Sixty-eight countries have adopted this system to help control the export and import of rough diamonds. Once a rough diamond is mined, according to the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, or KPCS, the diamond is to immediately be placed into a tamper resistant container and to be labeled with the originating country it was mined in. The diamond being labeled with the country’s origins tells the individuals dealing in the trading of diamonds if that particular country is a participant in KPCS. If they are not, they are banned from international diamond trading. On April 25, 2003 the United States president, George W. Bush, signed into law the Clean Diamond Trade Act, with codifies many of the terms of the Kimberly Process. Jewelers should only deal with trade suppliers of diamond jewelry that adhere to the KPCS. This would be the most important contribution jewelers can make within the industry to limit the number of conflict diamond that make their way into the supply chain.
The Council for Responsible Jewelry Practices (CRJP) is a not-for-profit group established in May of 2005 that promotes responsible business practices in the diamond supply chain. They adhere to the Kimberly Process and are creating the steps needed to have a third-party monitor these business practices.
Many major jewelry stores have very thorough ways of keeping conflict diamonds out of their markets. They usually sign a form of Code of Conduct with the vendors that supply their diamonds and/or have the KPCS warranted into each invoice. Many also make sure that their vendors recertify to KPCS on an annual basis. Many will refuse to do business with vendors who will not give the source of their diamonds, and they train their staffs about the issues of conflict diamonds.
There are many sources of diamonds in Africa that supports healthy African revenues by providing jobs, funding education and progressing society (marinating hospitals and road) that are not conflict diamonds. There are approximately 10 million individuals worldwide who work in one way or another with shaping a better world in Africa and to improve diamond trade. Remember, Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, even in Africa as long as the diamonds are not from these combat zones which are taking advantage of the diamond industry in fueling their civil wars. The good news is that 99% of the world’s diamond supply are conflict free and come from reputable sources as opposed to 1991 when 94% of diamonds were conflict free.