The Kimberley Process Defined
Take a moment to think about how desirable an average diamond is the consumer. While we live within a decidedly modern society, the simple fact is that this very same allure has existed for thousands of years. As a result, there have been times when the exploitation of workers was deemed necessary in order to extract these stones from the ground.
This would often result in dangerous and unhealthy working conditions. Child labor may also have been employed and it is a well-known fact that diamonds have been used to finance conflicts in the past. This is why purchasing conflict free diamonds is always an important priority. Thankfully, an international set of rules referred to as the Kimberley Process are intended to address many of the concerns mentioned above. What is the Kimberley Process and how does it function?
A Greater Degree of Transparency
The primary goal if the Kimberly Process is to provide a clear overview of where a diamond originated from and how it was sourced from the environment. Of course, the obvious intention is to reduce the chances that a conflict diamond enters into the marketplace.
This legislation was first enacted in 2003. Since this time, 82 countries have become members. Some examples include Canada, the United States, many nations throughout Africa, India, and the European Union (although all states are counted as a single participant).
How Does this Process Work?
Civil authorities will provide oversight during the mining and subsequent extraction processes. Assuming that a diamond has been sourced ethically and was not used to contribute to any type of conflict, it will be provided with a certificate. Furthermore, the stone in question is shipped within a sealed container to ensure that no tampering takes place between the origin and the final market. If this seal is broken or if the correct documentation is not provided, the diamond is not considered to be a Kimberley Process (KP) stone. Keep in mind that these are rough diamonds. They will still need to be further refined before they are eventually offered for sale.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Consider?
One of the concerns which has been brought to light since this method was enacted in 2003 involves certain loopholes. For instance, the associated finances have been purportedly used to rig elections. Others claim that these funds could be placed into tax havens. A final issue is that it could still be possible for conflict diamonds to “slip through the cracks” and enter into the global marketplace.
Ultimately, we need to keep in mind that it is very difficult to enact this level of multinational legislation. While there are indeed issues on occasion, obtaining a KP-certified stone is still the best way to ensure that you are obtaining an ethically sourced diamond. Furthermore, make it a point to perform a great deal of research before committing to a purchase. Ask the dealer plenty of questions, and always use certified online sources if you wish to buy a diamond online.