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Advice from TheDiamondStore.co.uk
ALL the diamonds we sell at The Diamond Store are CONFLICT FREE.
Did you see the 2006 movie, Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo DiCaprio? If so, you will be aware of the devastation caused by conflict diamonds, used to fund civil wars and terrorism.
We fully share your concern. We also understand that you’ll want to make sure the diamonds you are buying are ethical.
Here is some important information about conflict diamonds – and how we source our diamonds ethically and responsibly.
When diamonds are sold to fund illegal operations by rebel, military or terrorist groups they are referred to as “conflict diamonds” or “blood diamonds”.
In the 1990s the countries most affected by the illegal smuggling of conflict diamonds were Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Today, despite concentrated international efforts and the Kimberley Process (see below), conflict diamonds are still being smuggled by rebels in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia, and fund the oppressive regime in Zimbabwe.
In all these countries innocent citizens, including children, have been terrorised, mutilated or killed in their millions by groups in control of the local diamond trade.
Conflict diamonds have also been used to fund terrorist organisations with global reach. We know now that in the months prior to the 9/11 attacks in America, Al Qaeda managed to launder 20 million US dollars by buying untraceable conflict diamonds from Sierra Leone.
In the year 2000, South African countries with a legitimate diamond trade began a campaign against blood diamonds. They tracked the origins of all rough diamonds in an attempt to halt the sales of stones from conflict areas.
In 2003 this unified move resulted in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) which is an international effort to rid the world of conflict diamonds.
Learn more about the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme
The Kimberley Process was a major turning point in curbing the flow of conflict diamonds onto the international market.
Loopholes still exist, however, and the Kimberley Process has not been 100% effective everywhere. That’s why international human rights organisations like Amnesty International and Global Witness have launched their own campaigns against conflict diamonds.
Thanks to pressure from these groups – like threatening to replace the traditional advertising image of a diamond ring on a woman’s hand with that of a child’s amputated arm – things have progressed.
All of the EU countries and about 40 other countries worldwide now apply the Kimberley Process.
First and foremost, our own policy is only to sell CONFLICT FREE diamonds. We feel truly horrified at the violence and suffering conflict diamonds cause innocent victims in war and terror zones.
We also recognise that the market for conflict diamonds only exists where there is demand. As a retailer we want to take responsibility for our part and help break the chain of supply of conflict diamonds.
Here are the measures we take:
“Sightholder” is the diamond industry term for a legally established bulk buyer of rough diamonds.
We only purchase diamonds from a very restricted number of authorised sightholders who source diamonds from countries that fully participate in the Kimberley Process (KPCS).
In independent audits our sightholders have been shown to comply 100% with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and employ their own Best Practice Principles to cover any gaps in the KPCS.
The NAJ Code of Ethics
We are a member of the United Kingdom’s National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) and abide by its stringent Code of Ethics. The code states that all NAJ members must “refrain from trading in conflict diamonds”.
The NAJ takes its code very seriously. Any members found in violation of it have their membership withdrawn.
We are currently the only pure online jewellery retailer in the UK entrusted to sell official Canadian Diamonds. Mined, cut and distributed under the strict supervision of the Canadian Government, these diamonds can be fully traced all the way to their mine of origin.
Canadian diamonds are extracted from the ground using ecologically friendly and socially responsible practices, encourage fair trade and are guaranteed to be conflict free. In fact, Canadian diamonds are often referred to as the ultimate ethical diamonds.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have.