All About Conflict Free Diamonds
By now, we’ve all heard the term ‘conflict free diamonds’ and we know that’s a good thing. But what actually are conflict free diamonds, and what happens in other areas where these safeguards are not implemented? In brief, prior to a robust global movement within the diamond trade that ensured diamonds were harvested safely and humanely, it was ‘anything goes’ in the mining sector. While wholesalers, retailers and consumers had no idea of any impropriety—as time went on, it became much easier to uncover that critical information anywhere in the world. When that occurred, the concept of conflict diamonds began to unfold—and responsible members of our trade went to work on setting things right.
One of the chief concerns surrounded what happened to the revenue earned from wholesale diamonds on the global stage. No one wants to learn that diamond funds were re-routed to support terrorism, or that there were inhumane conditions at the mines. And that’s how the conflict free diamond process emerged.
Today, the global diamond sector imparts a Zero Tolerance policy against any diamonds that might be considered in conflict with best business practices. Some vigorous measures, like those of the Kimberley Process went into effect to create a trail for diamonds leading all the way back to the mine—and forward to the marketplace where these sparklers are sold.
The most well-known entity, the Kimberley process, is an International procedure created to track and certify diamonds. It was enacted in the US in 2003, when congress, and then President Bush passed a regulation making the Kimberley Process a requirement for all US diamond tradespeople. It required that diamonds came exclusively from manufacturers providing warrantees that their goods were obtained through legitimate sources. Today, the US Customs Service actively enforces the Kimberley Process requirements when diamonds enter American ports.
Besides knowing where legitimate diamonds are from, the diamond industry also wants to know where they shouldn’t buy diamonds. For example, there are ongoing reports of human rights abuses in Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond district. So of course, we will never purchase or offer diamonds from that region. Like all responsible members of the diamond sector, working closely with every supplier ensures that customers receive only the highest quality diamond products procured from verifiably ethical sources.
These fail-safe processes work in partnership with all governmental agencies including the United Nations to ensure that wholesalers, retailers, designers, and of course the end user—consumers are purchasing diamond goods which are equitably sourced all along the pipeline.
The methods of accountability are transparent all the way back to the source. So, if any part of the chain were broken along the way—where verification of its conflict free sourcing is not proven—that party is removed from the diamond trail. Today we can warrant that no diamonds were sourced from areas and mines that are non-compliant. The workers at the mine do receive proper wages and employee care, and at every stage, the revenue only goes to transparent entities which are not involved in illicit trade or war efforts.
Now that consumers understand that employee negligence and illicit activity did occur previously, they want assurance that what they buy is safe from illegal activities and provides a benefit to workers at the source—the very miners themselves. A demanding process ensures that diamonds have that transparent trail extending all the way back to its origin. That way, everyone, the consumer and seller can have complete assurance in knowing their diamonds have been verified as traveling through safe, fair and legitimate sourcing. Now diamond shoppers can take tremendous pride in knowing what’s behind the phrase “conflict free diamonds”. You will only buy from sellers who also share your sense of ethics and demand conflict free diamonds be their only products sold.
When you shop for diamonds, make sure your seller is in compliance with all these processes and they guarantee to sell only conflict free diamonds. It’s good for everyone.