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Question about conflict-free diamonds

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dp111

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 29, 2006
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12
Hello everybody,
I had a quick question about how to avoid purchasing conflict-diamonds and the Kimberley Process. so blue nile says:

"In April 2003, President Bush passed a bill adopting the Kimberley Process that requires all US diamond retailers to buy diamonds from manufacturers who have documentation warranting that the merchandise was obtained through legitimate channels. Today, the US Customs Service is actively enforcing the Kimberley Process requirements as diamonds enter American ports." (http://www.bluenile.com/product_policies.asp)

According to this, it seems like don''t have to worry about buying a conflict diamond so long as I''m buying in the US. Does that sound right?

Just checking,
Doug
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
26,961
We need big button at the top of the screen here at Rocky Talk about Conflict Diamonds.
When we click on the button it should have a well written blurb on the subject with links.


Otherwise that movie it going to bring a thousand new threads.
 

starryeyed

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
2,398
I checked out the link, Neil, and I guess the first question that popped into my head was about the "Buy Canadian" provision. It seems a lot of counterfeit merchandise enters the US from Asia via Canada, so why would diamonds necessarily be any different?

I'm ignorant, but how difficult could it be to run a counterfeit laser inscription business out of Canada? How difficult would it be to "grease" a few of the folks who are suppose to certify the diamonds? It seems to me that when there's a will, there's a way and it is very difficult to be absolutely certain that a particular diamond is "conflict-free".

The K Process was developed to "protect the legitimate diamond industry" but I can't help but notice the historical correlation with diamond discoveries in mines not controlled by DeBeers. It seems that DeBeers is using the very un-PC phenomena of conflict diamonds to further gain control over supply. Call me a pessimist, but these are some pretty clever folks.
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
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5,951
Date: 11/26/2006 1:56:46 PM
Author:dp111

According to this, it seems like don't have to worry about buying a conflict diamond so long as I'm buying in the US. Does that sound right?
Doug,

Though I don't know the level of confidence it's appropriate to have, and anything is possible, I think resources are pretty well in place to represent due diligence is in process to help this situation.

Neil has been a good messenger on this board concerning this topic.

However, for those who find themselves concerned about it, and are sensitive to the fact that due diligence is not as thorough as it might be, the direction I would recommend is not one that is reactive...going in either of a couple of different directions...whether to insure Kimberly worked, or to Canadian, so you don't have to care...but rather, instead, take a proactive approach, which is a different, but highly related idea. Much like the concerns of past recent decades about how to engage in South Africa (doubly on point) in situations of apartheid...though you could choose to exit your business, you could instead take a positive advantage of making your mark there, and try to have a positive influence.

Conversations about this have been sought after and engaged on Pricescope, here.
 

JohnQuixote

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
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5,212
Date: 11/26/2006 1:56:46 PM
Author:dp111

According to this, it seems like don't have to worry about buying a conflict diamond so long as I'm buying in the US. Does that sound right?

Just checking,
Doug

In North America you can buy with high confidence.

The Kimberly Process is to be applauded for dramatically reducing the scope of the issue. Some estimates put rough touched by conflict at less than 1 percent today. But the global diamond industry is vast. Greed is not exclusive to Africa, and rogue elements trade rough of dubious origin where they can. Kimberly Process fraud was uncovered in Brazil and Guyana this year. In early November NGOs were calling for expulsion of Venezuela from KPCS participation. Border controls are tighter in North America, especially post 9/11, but the possibility of corruption in the system exists, even in Canada where “conflict-free” is a national marketing slogan (CDCC). The good news is that Kimberly and Global Witness have estimated that 99.8% of the world’s diamonds are conflict free. Still, unless you walked the diamond yourself from mine to sorting to trading house to cutting factory to parcel buyer to retail outlet, nothing can be 100 percent certain.

As responsible retailers we do our utmost to protect our clients and ourselves. We select our partners with great care. We know the leaders of our primary trading houses and their commitment to the process of certification. Every diamond we bring in is accompanied by written conflict-free guarantees and certification from people committed to the process. We have joined hands and done everything in our power to guarantee our diamonds’ conflict-free provenance for you, just as our conscientious peers do.

Neil's article has a number of intelligent consumer options. I would add the suggestion to be proactive. As a shopper you can test a retailer’s awareness and commitment to the issue. These four questions are suggested by NGOs Amnesty International and Global Witness.

1. How can I be sure that none of your jewelry contains conflict diamonds?
2. Do you know where the diamonds you sell come from?
3. Can I see a copy of your company’s policy on conflict diamonds?
4. Can you show me a written guarantee from your diamond suppliers stating that your diamonds are conflict-free?

Remember that "conflict-free" just scratches the surface of the issue. The industry works hard to ensure conflict-free provenance for the end-user and for many consumers that is enough. The only drawback is that it overlooks the real issue which is those who still suffer in parts of Africa.

As jewelry companies and consumers we can’t change governments or politics, but we can create commerce and benevolence to help those people. UNICEF is active in Africa. Development diamond initiatives like Rapaport's are evolving. Our company’s chosen charity partner is the WCCCI and we have a program funding relief for African children.

Beyond the protectionist work Kimberly Process, the Patriot Act, NGOs and the CRJP are doing, we believe there must be people-centered answers to help actual humans without industry or red tape in the way.
 
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