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The Kimberley Process and the Chinese - New Article

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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coatimundi|1319150866|3044471 said:
From Rob Bates:

The Kimberley Process, the Industry, and the NGOs

http://www.jckonline.com/blogs/cutting-remarks/2011/10/20/kimberley-process-industry-and-ngos

A remarkable fight broke out last week between veteran journalist Chaim Even-Zohar and Partnership Africa Canada over a PAC staffer’s comment that some found objectionable. Why this particular rhetorical fireball attracted such ire, I’m not sure; I’ve certainly heard worse. But what is noteworthy is the group involved.

Thx for the links Coati,
unfortunately we can not read Chaim's blog without a subscription.
But Rob's story and opinion is compelling for me.
It does seem that the NGO's are loosing any chance of effective change by opting out like little children spitting out their dummies. (US equivalent of rubber things you put in baby's mouths to stop them crying?).

Diplomacy and politics are based on merging diff points of view for a better common good.
One of our local radio talkback guys, John Faine, asked this question this morning.
How can climate sceptics (or believers) not accept (or accept) science based evidence when they views they hold are almost always opposite to those they hold on genetically modified crops and food?

An aside - Being in the middle of an attempt to get KP authorisation to send 4 rough diamonds to India from Australia to be polished on behalf of the man who initiated the search for the Argyle mine (and the other 2 commercial diamond mines in Australia) - let me tell you - KP documentATION is a very hard thing to achieve.

I hope these people can start working together. There is a common goal. No one in the diamond industry wants to cause or support conflict or aid and abet those perpetrating human rights violations. but imposing a single point of view on Africans and people from polishing nations who earn a 10th of the salaries of Western nations incomes simply does not work.
KP was an amazing achievement and was set up to stop diamonds fueling civil wars. Human rights is althogether another issue and one nations view of minimum standards is quite different to anothers - just as one nations view of laws and justice differe from anothers. e.g. the US Govt has never signed on for the international court of justice (or whatever it is called) because it knows it would be found in breach of its laws (in the past or future).

People in glass houses should never throw stones.
 

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Perhaps in the "news you can use" category, is notice today of a joint statement from both the Jewelers of America (JA) and the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America (DMIA), here:

http://www.diamonds.net/news/NewsIt...for+Definitive+Kimberley+Process+Improvements

...where the following is suggested:

JA and the DMIA strongly urge plenary participants to commit to ongoing efforts to develop ways to strengthen the Kimberley Process by expanding its mandate to meet new ''consumer expectations,'' ensuring that the process includes within its mandate: Human rights of populations living in and around diamond mining areas and the inclusion of the prohibition of any form of violence around diamond mining, not only rebel-related violence, but inclusive of state-related violence and violence by foreign groups.

''Since it was established, the Kimberley Process has been a vital tool in eliminating conflict diamonds,'' said Matt Runci, the president of JA. ''That said, we have reached a crossroads where the Kimberley Process must take steps to evolve as a system and make improvements that enable it to better address issues that fall outside its initial mandate. If these changes cannot happen within the Kimberley Process, the industry will have to find its own solutions to maintain consumer confidence.''

I will affirm this idea, if I may. I can of course be concerned by criticisms of similar ideas presented before...that governments will not wish to be told how to comport in this area of of human rights. However, some of the consequences of failing to include the suggestions noted above are described above; consumer confidence is at some risk, certainly. Maybe not, you say, and today, it's difficult to argue with naysayers. But, when new options become available, including ethical certification, and fair trade (also featured today in another article), consumers will indeed be prompted to ask themselves more questions than they have heretofore been prompted to ask. Like....what IS this new ethical certification...isn't Kimberley enough? Well, no, maybe not.

Unless, it becomes enough.

The criticism of fair trade, described in posts above, is that frequently, it does not gain more than a minority foothold. How much better it would be, if it could be, for the major movement and already well established system of KP to bring its umbrella of confidence to the wider net of options available to consumers, making the need for ostensibly fringe certifications to be even needed, because their purposes would be included within the KP certification scheme.

As the newer, ethically positioned options become available, regardless of what KP does or doesn't do, the light these options will throw on the goodness of KP certification will make a potentially "D" color diamond go more yellow than any distributor would like.

How much better it would be if a new and improved KP effectively makes such upstart certifications worth-less for their differences.


Ira Z.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Regular Guy|1319850768|3049748 said:
Perhaps in the "news you can use" category, is notice today of a joint statement from both the Jewelers of America (JA) and the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America (DMIA), here:

http://www.diamonds.net/news/NewsIt...for+Definitive+Kimberley+Process+Improvements

...where the following is suggested:

JA and the DMIA strongly urge plenary participants to commit to ongoing efforts to develop ways to strengthen the Kimberley Process by expanding its mandate to meet new ''consumer expectations,'' ensuring that the process includes within its mandate: Human rights of populations living in and around diamond mining areas and the inclusion of the prohibition of any form of violence around diamond mining, not only rebel-related violence, but inclusive of state-related violence and violence by foreign groups.

''Since it was established, the Kimberley Process has been a vital tool in eliminating conflict diamonds,'' said Matt Runci, the president of JA. ''That said, we have reached a crossroads where the Kimberley Process must take steps to evolve as a system and make improvements that enable it to better address issues that fall outside its initial mandate. If these changes cannot happen within the Kimberley Process, the industry will have to find its own solutions to maintain consumer confidence.''

I will affirm this idea, if I may. I can of course be concerned by criticisms of similar ideas presented before...that governments will not wish to be told how to comport in this area of of human rights. However, some of the consequences of failing to include the suggestions noted above are described above; consumer confidence is at some risk, certainly. Maybe not, you say, and today, it's difficult to argue with naysayers. But, when new options become available, including ethical certification, and fair trade (also featured today in another article), consumers will indeed be prompted to ask themselves more questions than they have heretofore been prompted to ask. Like....what IS this new ethical certification...isn't Kimberley enough? Well, no, maybe not.

Unless, it becomes enough.

The criticism of fair trade, described in posts above, is that frequently, it does not gain more than a minority foothold. How much better it would be, if it could be, for the major movement and already well established system of KP to bring its umbrella of confidence to the wider net of options available to consumers, making the need for ostensibly fringe certifications to be even needed, because their purposes would be included within the KP certification scheme.

As the newer, ethically positioned options become available, regardless of what KP does or doesn't do, the light these options will throw on the goodness of KP certification will make a potentially "D" color diamond go more yellow than any distributor would like.

How much better it would be if a new and improved KP effectively makes such upstart certifications worth-less for their differences.


Ira Z.

Thanks Ira.
1. the current set up of KP as a United Nations origniated body (at the urging of the industry - a first I believe) is that any member country has Veto rights. That would need to change and I doubt China or USA would give up that right, let alone Zimbabwae?

2. You wrote ".....fair trade..........does not gain more than a minority foothold. How much better it would be, if ....... fringe certifications ......... would be included within the KP certification scheme?"
(Excuse my summurization - but for the benefit of readers who are not able to decipher your writting Ira, I think it helps.)

Yes, it would be great, but lets be realistic? What hope would there really be when every org has its own agenda?
 

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Garry, it may benefit to focus on your latter two comments.

1) where you say:

for the benefit of readers who are not able to decipher your writting Ira...

Guilty as charged.,and in fact, relatedly...though I think you, and hopefully others got my main point...

2) I left out an important word..NOT...in a sentence you quoted above. I'll fix it below, by inserting it in where it should be to wit:

How much better it would be, if it could be, for the major movement and already well established system of KP to bring its umbrella of confidence to the wider net of options available to consumers, making the need for ostensibly fringe certifications to be NOT even needed, because their purposes would be included within the KP certification scheme.

Anyway, regardless of the fine points of grammar, I think what should be primarily clarified is that my comments aren't intended to be precedent setting, particularly, and with better men than me already reporting in this thread...good luck with THAT idea of pushing better behavior on others...I am merely saying what is often enough done here on Pricescope. I am saying...

+1

to what's being represented as...a "joint statement from both the Jewelers of America (JA) and the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America (DMIA)"

Don't shoot the messenger, in this case.

I would like to say, frankly, that this idea is game changing. It is not new, no. It has the challenges you raise, Garry. But, that it is brought forward by what I presume to be heavy weights in the diamond industry is at least encouraging to me. Can KP evolve, in the face of the challenges you describe? I hope so.

And finally,

3) with respect to those challenges...you say:

What hope would there really be when every org has its own agenda?

Let's be as clear as we might be. I don't think it's being suggested that some organizations involved prefer pink over violet over aqua-marine as preferred colors. No. To re-present Rapapaport's basic concept, I think, would be merely to say...let's agree that diamonds associated with severe human rights abuses, including rape and murder in their having been made available, don't get KP certification.

Is that really a differentiated agenda, that is peculiar, or nuanced, or that others might really prefer to reposition significantly?


Ira Z.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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This looks hopeful?

KINSHASA, DRC: NOVEMBER 1, 2011 - The World Diamond Council has welcomed the agreement ratified today by the members of the Kimberley Process at organization's Plenary Meeting in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The agreement will enable the immediate export of rough diamonds from two KP-compliant operations in the Marange region, as well as exports from other mining operations in the area following the KP Monitoring Team's verification of compliance.

"This is a real milestone, and demonstrates categorically that the Kimberley Process provides the framework through which the integrity of the rough diamond chain of distribution can be protected, while at the same time enabling producing countries gain benefit from their natural resources," said Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council, at the meeting in Kinshasa.

He noted the valuable contribution of the KP Chair, Mathieu Yamba, in facilitating the agreement. "His patient commitment to finding an equitable solution and his readiness to persevere in the face of difficulty were critical components in achieving success," Mr. Izhakoff said.

"Congratulations and thanks are due to the European Union, for the critical role it played in proposing the agreement and bringing it to fruition," the WDC President continued. "Credit also is due to Zimbabwe, the African nations led by the South Africa, the United States, and a host of individuals and delegates who put in long hours in negotiating the arrangement, which has escaped us for more than two years. It has been a long time in coming, and I fervently hope that it allows us to move both the KP and the industry forward."

In ratifying the new agreement, the Kimberley Process Plenary endorsed, with immediate effect, the export of rough diamonds from the mining operations of Marange Resources and Mbada. The Plenary furthermore agreed that exports may take place from other mining operations in the Marange diamond fields, following verification of their compliance according to KPCS minimum requirements by the KP Monitoring Team, which will receive full access to the mining sites.

Within 14 days of the Plenary Meeting, the KP Monitoring team will visit Zimbabwe to examine whether a third mining operation in the area, Anjin, is KP compliant and permitted to export diamonds. The team will pay similar visit to any other new mine within 14 days of receiving an invitation.

Transparency of operation is a key element of the agreement, with compliant mining operations in the Marange region being required to share mine level data with the KP Monitoring Team on an ongoing basis. As part of the agreement, the KP Civil Society Coalition representatives in Zimbabwe will have access to the Marange area so as to allow continued reporting on KPCS implementation.

According to the agreement, the KP monitoring team will include Abbey Chikane, a former Chair of the Kimberley Process, and Mark Van Bockstael, Chair of the World Diamond Council Technical Committee. In the event that the two are unable to reach agreement, the issue will be referred to the Working Group on Monitoring for recommendation to the KP Chair.

For its part, Zimbabwe has committed to uphold the KPCS minimum requirements and will report to the current KP Plenary and the KP Intersessional Meeting in 2012 on issues related to identification of further investors, the regulation of artisanal mining, the fight against illicit digging and smuggling.

The new agreement will remain under constant review and will remain in force until the KP plenary Meeting in 2012.
 

diagem

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I am looking for the broom..., did any one see it? 
 

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DiaGem|1320257091|3052660 said:
I am looking for the broom..., did any one see it? 

Yoram, that is too good! lol, literally.

My own thoughts were shared when Karl created what may have been the newsbreaking thread on the latest developments, here:

https://www.pricescope.com/communit...abwes-marange-rough-to-hit-the-market.167677/

Maybe Garry's hope is well placed. Certainly, to the extent KP provides a good service, it's being continued is...good.

I just wish the guy on the street cared enough so that KP or not made the difference it might. So, from the point of view that it doesn't matter, KP that is....then we hardly need a broom, or...we could say either picking up the pieces, or a strong KP...no difference worth mentioning.

If and when gentlepeople of conscience come together to create an alternate system that examines ethical principles, names them, and says they are included, such that buyers will see they can choose this (alternate or additional certification system) or that (KP or KP only), this may make a difference.

The op in Karl's thread does mention Canadian. For this smaller group, possibly Canadian offers a reasonably nuanced enough alternative.

The hope had been that people with bigger enough vision would stick together, and include real best practices within KP.

If this will not have happened (they're still meeting today, right?), I'm just not personally very interested in the consequences. When more African sourced alternatives, specifically vetted for ethical sourcing, become more the norm...this will gain my interest.


Ira Z.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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An announcment that is somewhat related (sorry about formating, copied from a pdf):

The Alliance for Responsible Mining Foundation and The Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices
 Industry Outreach: ARM and RJC will collaborate to increase market awareness and support for jewellery raw materials sourced from well-managed artisanal and small-scale mining operations.
“ARM believes that strengthening its relationship with the RJC is a key step in building strong collaboration with the industry to jointly embrace the developmental opportunities of ASM. We hope to see more and more ASM communities realize their potential of becoming profitable, socially and environmentally responsible enterprises that participate in global markets and contribute to local development,” says Lina Villa, ARMs Acting Executive Director.
www.responsiblejewellery.com

The Alliance for Responsible Mining Foundation, Registered Charity Number: S0001168. Company Reg. in Colombia
”RJC welcomes this new formal relationship between our organisations with great enthusiasm. Working together with ARM towards common goals will strengthen our collective efforts towards responsible business practices throughout the jewellery supply chain. We are looking forward to the collaboration and the benefits it will bring to artisanal and small-scale miners and their communities, RJC Members and the jewellery industry as a whole,” says Michael Rae, RJC’s Chief Executive Officer.

About ARM ARM's mission is to set standards for responsible ASM and to support and enable producers to deliver "fairmined" certified metals and minerals through economically just supply chains to the markets, in order to contribute towards the transformation of ASM into a socially and environmentally responsible activity, and to the improvement of the quality of life of marginalized artisanal miners, their families and communities. ARM's vision is for ASM to become a formalised, organised and profitable activity that uses efficient technologies, and is socially and environmentally responsible, that increasingly develops within a framework of good governance, legality, participation and respect for diversity, it increases its contribution to the generation of decent work, local development, poverty reduction and social peace in our nations, driven by a growing consumer demand for sustainable minerals and ethical jewellery.
 

coati

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Chain-of-custody perspective from Mr. Bates:

Why More Companies Want to Know Exactly Where Their Materials Come From

Many great points in his blog, which touch on many questions raised in this thread.

His final thought:

In the end, there is a reason that smart companies—and no one denies, Walmart and Tiffany are smart companies—have lined up behind “chain of custody” programs. It's not because they are charities; it's because these programs make good business sense. They are, I believe, the future, and we should only expect more of them in years to come.

Since this is a predominantly a consumer forum, I ask consumers, do you want to know exactly where the materials used in your jewelry pieces come from? Historically, ps interest in this topic has been limited with only a few voices chiming in. (Ira I'm looking at you) If ps represents a solid microcosm of the jewelry buying public, then what does that say about jewelry consumers across the board? And, what is the demand for "ethically sourced" or clear "chain-of-custody" jewelry in Asian countries where jewelry consumption is growing exponentially?
 

diagem

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coatimundi|1322679081|3071669 said:
Chain-of-custody perspective from Mr. Bates:

Why More Companies Want to Know Exactly Where Their Materials Come From

Many great points in his blog, which touch on many questions raised in this thread.

His final thought:

In the end, there is a reason that smart companies—and no one denies, Walmart and Tiffany are smart companies—have lined up behind “chain of custody” programs. It's not because they are charities; it's because these programs make good business sense. They are, I believe, the future, and we should only expect more of them in years to come.

Since this is a predominantly a consumer forum, I ask consumers, do you want to know exactly where the materials used in your jewelry pieces come from? Historically, ps interest in this topic has been limited with only a few voices chiming in. (Ira I'm looking at you) If ps represents a solid microcosm of the jewelry buying public, then what does that say about jewelry consumers across the board? And, what is the demand for "ethically sourced" or clear "chain-of-custody" jewelry in Asian countries where jewelry consumption is growing exponentially?

As much as I respect and read RB's writing, I also respect industry veteran journalist Chaim Even Zohar and here is a look at the other side of the coin..., including analysis:

"RJC EMBARKS ON NEW ROUNDS OF INDUSTRY DIALOGUE BEFORE DECIDING ON THE UTILITY OF A DIAMOND CHAIN OF CUSTODY
01 December 2011
CHAIM EVEN-ZOHAR
Last week's editorial titled "RJC's Diamond Chain of Custody: Destroying rather than Adding Value" triggered a vast amount of reactions as well as some welcome news. In a telephone conversation over the weekend, Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) Vice-Chairman John Hall informed us that the launch of the organization's Chain of Custody (CoC) framework will be delayed until appropriate input can be considered from a dialogue with members of the trade and industry in Israel, India and elsewhere. Thus, for the time being, CoC is nearly off the table...."

https://www.diamondintelligence.com/magazine/magazine.aspx?id=10063
 

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Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Hi all,
I tried to post this announcment earlier but had a computer crash.
Thanks Erika

I agree with some other comentators - if NGO's will not practice diplomacy then they should give up rights to commentary.
Because they can not make the world into their perfect version - they have taken their bat and ball and are sulking in the corner.

Comments like this:
“Nearly nine years after the Kimberley Process was launched, the sad truth is that most consumers still cannot be sure where their diamonds come from, nor whether they are financing armed violence or abusive regimes” said Charmian Gooch, a Founding Director of Global Witness.

Well, its simply naive. In the first place, here on a diamond consumer forum we have had less than 3,000 views and most of those would appear to be people in the trade.
I have no doubt at all that there are more people in the industry that care more about this issue (# of people x care factor = X ) than there are consumers who care - my X factor.
And when you read Chaim's excellent economists article https://www.diamondintelligence.com/magazine/magazine.aspx?id=10063 it is pretty clear that if the NGO's and the RJC (of which I am an early and active member) got their way it could cause more damage than benefit to the very people who need help and who are part of the solution!

There are more than enough diamonds with clear origin to meet consumer demand. I have been working on a specific request for a 1ct stone the past few days and it is neither difficult to find a stone, nor thanks to the efforts of companies like Riotinto, is it that much more costly.

Come on NGO's Grow up and come and play in the real world!
 

denverappraiser

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I agree that, by and large, the consuming public doesn’t seem to care, or at least not care enough to add value for the more responsible sources. 3 years ago I was asked about this topic several times a day. I haven’t had a client where ‘proof’ of responsible mining and manufacturing were part of their criteria in weeks. What changed? The war in Sierra Leone ended, but that’s been 8 years now. Kimberley became well known and provided a solution for those who don’t want to look too deeply. Other items, like Herman Cain’s and Tiger Woods’s sex lives took over the news cycle and the public imagination. Frugality has become fashionable and this is easy to confuse with cheapness. I don’t know. I wish I did.

The problem that Kimberley was designed to remedy, that of diamonds being used as an instrument for war, seems to be solved by other paths, at least for now. Those particular wars are simmering if not over. The concern now is with a subtly different problem; that of enforcing sensible labor and environmental practices in foreign countries. It’s no longer a question of whether an individual consumer can find a responsibly produced diamond. They can if they put even a modicum of effort into it. The concern now is that other consumers might get a better ‘deal’ by avoiding these channels and folks want to prevent this from happening. At the margin this is impossible, but the only way to even come close is to make it more valuable for the suppliers to take the high road than the other way. This requires consumers who are willing to put their money where their mouths are and recent history would suggest that this is a difficult requirement.

GW stepping to the sidelines is completely ducking their mission. Diamonds are not evil and the diamond industry is not evil. It's the life blood of millions of people worldwide and the vast majority are part of the solution, not part of the problem. Global Witness is the highest profile NGO on this issue and it's irresponsible of THEM to throw up their hands at this point. There's work to be done, and if not going to be done by them, who will it be?
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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I don't know that it's at all clear yet what will result, if anything, from KP's becoming more "inclusive" in its standards and practices (vs. more restrictive), nor what the result will be of Global Witness leaving this Process.

But, consistent with these changes, new light is being thrown on what the Kimberley Process is and is not...

See the recent artice from Reuters:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/09/us-diamonds-conflict-idUSTRE7B819C20111209

Story lead:

"(Reuters) - It was hailed as a way to make it possible to buy a diamond ring for your sweetheart free from worry that you were funding civil wars and rights abuses.

But the efficacy of the Kimberley Process (KP) has been thrown into doubt by a diamond field operating under a recognized government, not a rebel army, that is widely criticized for abuses of its own."


Ira Z.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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DiaGem I liked Edahns article too.

Regular Guy|1323665719|3079628 said:
I don't know that it's at all clear yet what will result, if anything, from KP's becoming more "inclusive" in its standards and practices (vs. more restrictive), nor what the result will be of Global Witness leaving this Process.

But, consistent with these changes, new light is being thrown on what the Kimberley Process is and is not...

See the recent artice from Reuters:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/09/us-diamonds-conflict-idUSTRE7B819C20111209

Story lead:

"(Reuters) - It was hailed as a way to make it possible to buy a diamond ring for your sweetheart free from worry that you were funding civil wars and rights abuses.

But the efficacy of the Kimberley Process (KP) has been thrown into doubt by a diamond field operating under a recognized government, not a rebel army, that is widely criticized for abuses of its own."


Ira Z.
For the regular media - that is a well written article Ira!!!

This sums up the Zim situation:
Human rights groups estimate at least 200 artisanal, or small-scale, miners were killed in 2008 when Zimbabwe's security forces seized the fields at Marange - one of the largest diamond finds of recent decades - adding to years of human rights abuses attributed to President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party.
It is sick, sad and bad that this happened. However it 'happened' and there seems to be no evidence that it is still happening. Anecdotal information that I recieve is that in the period where exports were not allowed, there were under the table deals and bribes and that the clearing the way for official sales reduces these opportunities.

Official sales have more chance of funding development. We know that miners are being (under) paid. And they are striking.
That is a much better situation.

I believe that because diamonds attract so much more attention than other minerals - they can do more to clean up poor countries. I hope that diamonds can help bring about change for the better in Zimbabwe.
 

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Dissent amonst the dissenters?
http://www.diamonds.net/news/NewsItem.aspx?tc_dailyemail=1&ArticleID=38212

Partnership Africa Canada (PAC), a founding member of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KP) civil society coalition, has pledged to stay in the scheme despite the withdrawal of its partner Global Witness last week. PAC warned, however, that its long-term participation is dependent on whether government and industry can implement reforms at the KP in the coming year.
 

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Garry H (Cut Nut)|1324511330|3086440 said:
http://www.antwerpfacetsonline.be/a...letter&cHash=fec9f11feb239eb9df2079d319499ae7

Now that is more like it.
Marange diamond miners building homes for displaced people
Of course the people may not have wished to be displaced, but given the previous history, this is a step forward.
Consumer and industry power!


Good news indeed

(link above must be too long to hot link...but it does work; cut & paste...)


Happy Holidays to everyone, not the least of which to include those involved in the hard life of mining diamonds...

Ira Z.
 

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"GOOD NEWS FROM MARANGE IS NOT SEEN AS 'FIT TO PRINT'"

https://www.diamondintelligence.com/magazine/magazine.aspx?id=10124

"......The BBC, Reuters, CNN and other media always preface Marange mining stories stating that they are not allowed entry, are not allowed to photograph, have no access to officials or workers. The only way to take pictures would supposedly be through illegal means. During this media tour, the mines opened their gates - actually all gates and doors, including those in the diamond recovery rooms and the security control towers. That should be news by itself - but it wasn't reported."
 

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It looks like our new US Chair of the Kimberley Process has recently been "on the ropes," put to the test in an interview with a number of folks, including an inquirer from Reuters who was earnest about what are probably some important queries, if one of the expected values of Kimberley is available to consumers. See below:

Madam Ambassador, I was wondering if you could talk a little bit, if you have anything to share on this, on the question of supply chain controls over polished diamonds. I mean, obviously, the U.S. has sanctions on a lot of diamond sector businesses in Zimbabwe, including state-owned mining corporations. But these are only covering rough diamonds, and the point of – the activists will tell you that they are being sent to other places, polished, and then shipped into this country.

Is there any notion that the Kimberley Process could somehow gather itself to try and figure out a way to establish verifiable supply chain controls so that we can be sure that our own sanctions aren’t being violated by diamonds that are polished in second countries.

AMBASSADOR MILOVANOVIC: Andrew, you raised some excellent questions. What I have to say, however, is that – look, I’m the chair of the Kimberley Process. The Kimberley Process deals in rough diamonds. That is what it was created for, that is what its mandate is. And so I do not foresee within the Kimberley Process, per se, going beyond the question of rough diamonds.

read at this link:

http://www.diamonds.net/News/NewsIt...ss+Looking+at+Core+Objectives+and+Definitions

published by Rapaport's Diamonds.net...


Ira Z.
 

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denverappraiser|1323182705|3075234 said:
I agree that, by and large, the consuming public doesn’t seem to care, or at least not care enough to add value for the more responsible sources. 3 years ago I was asked about this topic several times a day. I haven’t had a client where ‘proof’ of responsible mining and manufacturing were part of their criteria in weeks. What changed? The war in Sierra Leone ended, but that’s been 8 years now. Kimberley became well known and provided a solution for those who don’t want to look too deeply. Other items, like Herman Cain’s and Tiger Woods’s sex lives took over the news cycle and the public imagination. Frugality has become fashionable and this is easy to confuse with cheapness. I don’t know. I wish I did.

I think you're right about the trending topics of the day, but I also think the populace has heard "Kimberley Process" uttered enough times to believe that process covers everything, the problem is solved, and they no longer need to worry about it. My diamond shopping experience showed that retailers large and small will say the magic word "Kimberley" and furrowed brows are instantly soothed. Those retailers guarantee their diamonds - and that's enough for the average young and maybe not extremely socially responsible guy or gal drooling over the display case. How on earth is said guy or gal ever to know if the diamonds came from Sierra Leone or not? It's an easy guarantee to make.

denverappraiser|1323182705|3075234 said:
The problem that Kimberley was designed to remedy, that of diamonds being used as an instrument for war, seems to be solved by other paths, at least for now. Those particular wars are simmering if not over. The concern now is with a subtly different problem; that of enforcing sensible labor and environmental practices in foreign countries. It’s no longer a question of whether an individual consumer can find a responsibly produced diamond. They can if they put even a modicum of effort into it.

I didn't have any luck - all I got was the promise that diamonds were from Canada etc. No proof, just a promise. Anyone can laser on a little maple leaf... for my (cynical) money, that's not good enough I'm afraid.
 

denverappraiser

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Xanthoria|1330461321|3136580 said:
I didn't have any luck - all I got was the promise that diamonds were from Canada etc. No proof, just a promise. Anyone can laser on a little maple leaf... for my (cynical) money, that's not good enough I'm afraid.
What would be acceptable proof of country of origin for you?

Bear in mind that it's a rock. God made it before the country was there and there is no scientific test that can be applied. The only choice is various levels of someone making a claim.

Out of curiosity, what did you decide to do? Buy one with a lasered leaf anyway? Give up on the country of origin requirement? Give up on diamonds? Something else?
 

Xanthoria

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denverappraiser|1330464967|3136641 said:
Xanthoria|1330461321|3136580 said:
I didn't have any luck - all I got was the promise that diamonds were from Canada etc. No proof, just a promise. Anyone can laser on a little maple leaf... for my (cynical) money, that's not good enough I'm afraid.
What would be acceptable proof of country of origin for you?

Bear in mind that it's a rock. God made it before the country was there and there is no scientific test that can be applied. The only choice is various levels of someone making a claim.

Out of curiosity, what did you decide to do? Buy one with a lasered leaf anyway? Give up on the country of origin requirement? Give up on diamonds? Something else?


Well that's the thing isn't it - as it stands now there can be no real proof. It's very offputting.

I dithered about a long time, went to many stores and asked lots of questions, did a lot of reasearch and was going to go with a Brilliant Earth stone, with misgivings. A few more months of thinking, and I'd pretty much decided the industry wasn't something I wanted my SO to throw thousands of dollars into I'm afraid. Then my mother produced a platinum ring from a great aunt for me to wear. Made in 1924 by the House of Peacock, Chicago, with a 2.14 ct center stone among others and who on earth knows where or how that came to be mined...

On the plus side it has family history, will be passed down to the next generation, and relieves me of my qualms about supporting the trade financially at least. Wearing the ring makes me look like I support it though, which might be overthinking things.. The other negative is it costs a fortune to insure!

Not everyone gets lucky, and the majority probably end up buying a new ring. I get that this forum is skewed towards diamond lovers, but can it really be that people don't care that much in general about where their stone comes from? There's very little input on this thread from those outside the trade, as has been mentioned...
 

denverappraiser

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Thank you for your participation.

I think the credibility of the Brilliant Earth folks is really pretty good but I do understand your misgivings. That’s, of course, a personal decision and I agree that the information is incomplete. That’s the tricky part of being a responsible shopper. It’s the same way you know that your fair trade coffee is fair trade, that your organic vegetables are organic, that your car was union made and a whole litany of similar ethereal claims. Somebody made a claim and you have to decide if you want to believe it. At some point you just have to accept less than perfect data and live with it. I certainly encourage people to push the point, and the fact that you asked questions at the stores is going to raise the bar a little bit at those stores and possibly their suppliers. It’s all done with tiny steps. That said, diamonds are completely unnecessary and if you’re not comfortable wearing one for whatever reason, don’t.
 

Xanthoria

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I agree there are similarities on some level with other industries whose claims one way or another are hard to verify, but if I buy a carrot that ends up not being organic, well... eh. Nobody died, was raped, abused or enslaved by the carrot industry!* And a carrot, organic or not, is cheap and nutritious and provides something I need to live. Diamonds... none of the above.

Also the carrot industry is more local to me, and comes under the governance of the Mighty Laws of the United States - if I was so inclined I could go to my local carrot farmer and ask him face to face about his prime carrots. The diamonds? Let's face it, Zimbabwe, Côte d'Ivoire and Venezuela aren't major tourism hotspots for many reasons, including being "far away" (from me.)

As a consumer my livelihood doesn't depend on diamonds, so as you point out I'm able to choose something else (or nothing at all) to replace small glittery stones in my life. I'm glad to see the diamond industry taking that (growing?) sentiment to heart. I hope something can be done - the more I read about the Kimberley Process the more uneasy I get.

*As far as I know... :lol:
 

denverappraiser

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As you suggest, you may be overthinking this. Diamonds are the economic live blood for millions of people worldwide, including yours truly. Fewer than 10% of those people are miners and fewer than 10% of THOSE work in conditions that would be reasonably described as slavery or even particularly abusive. I’m not discounting the problems of those people but boycotting the work products of those other 99%+ isn’t necessarily the best solution. Are 1% of carrot workers in a situation that may expose them to abuse? Maybe. I don’t know much about the vegetable business but it seems plausible, even including workers at your nearby farm. I’m also less than fully confident that your carrots actually came from a nearby farm and not some labor camp in Mexico or Chile. What's your proof of this? A Hollywood action movie about ‘the blood carrot’ could be in the makings as we speak. :shock:
 
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