Here at Stunning Jewellery we make a very strong point of not dealing with “blood diamonds” (also known as conflict, converted, hot or war diamonds) as we believe that all of our diamonds should be ethically sourced and traded. However, many of our customers are not sure what this term means or why we place such importance on it, so we wanted to add a little detail to why we consider this so important!
What is a “Blood Diamond”?
A blood diamond is one that has been mined in a conflict area, such as a war zone, and has been then sold to finance efforts in a war or an insurgency. These diamonds have been mined purely to sell on and the profits used by warlords to buy weapons than then go on to kill people.
Measures in Place to Stem the Flow of Blood Diamond Trade
The Kimberley Process
Introduced in 2003 by the World Diamond Congress, the Kimberley Process is a government-run initiative that uses the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) to certify diamonds mined and exported as part of the legitimate diamond trade, rather than from a conflict zone.
This is an international certification system and imposes regulations on all countries to only accept diamonds that have been officially sealed as being conflict-free. Countries or individuals found to be trafficking conflict diamonds are charged and banned from further trade.
Different countries have different policies in place to deal with blood diamonds. The USA is the largest consumer of diamonds and as such have specific policies in place to ensure that no importation of rough diamonds from conflict zones including Libera and Sierra Leone takes place.
Canada have a partnership in place, Partnership Africa Canada, which is also part of the Diamond Development Initiative. This works to support the crisis in Africa with diamond mining.
Canada are also great supports of the Kimberley Process and have passed several laws to deal with the import and export of rough diamonds, including the Export and Import of Rough Diamonds Act (2002), which includes the Canadian Certificate scheme as well as KPCS regulations. The Canadian Certificate allows officers to seize any shipment of diamonds that does not meet the requirements of the Export and Import of Rough Diamonds Act.
The Government of the Northwest Territories of Canada (GNWT) also have their own certification system in place. All diamonds mined, cut and polished in this area receive a Government certificate, which includes the inscribing of a unique diamond identification number (DIN) onto each diamond’s girdle. A girdle is the thin perimeter of a diamond, dividing the crown above from the pavilion below. Diamonds mined outside the GNWT cannot obtain this certification.
Unfortunately, the trade of blood diamonds is widespread and has been an ongoing problem for a long time. Notable areas at fault of trading in blood diamonds include Angola (a colony of Portugal) and Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
There are other areas once considered to be guilty of blood diamond trade but have now clamped down and are part of the Kimberley Process, including Liberia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire).