Blood Diamonds

Posted by admin on August 19, 2007
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What Are Blood Diamonds?

Blood diamonds are often refered to as conflict diamonds (as opposed to conflict-free diamonds). The UN describe them as diamonds which originate from regions controlled by forces opposed to internationally recognized governements and that are often used to fund military action.

Civilians are unfortunately often killed during the fights that take place between the armed combatants and the governments in place. Examples of countries that are involved in blood diamonds are Angola, Congo and Sierra Leone (which is the most notable one of the three). Certains countries such as Liberia have also used their diamond industry to fund conflicts in other countries.

Unfair Child Labor Practices

In addition to the obvious unfortunate consequences of civil and foreign wars, it has been proven that these countries often produce conflict diamonds under very unfair child labor practices. However, keep in mind that unless your diamond is produced in a trusted country (such as Canada or the United States of America), it is possible that these unfair labor practices are also in place. Non-warring countries have also been known, in certain cases, for operating under unfair labor practices.

Unfair Child Labor Practices

Unfair Child Labor Practices. Courtesy of AP

How to Buy a Conflict-Free Diamond?

As per Natural Resources Canada’s Website, “On January 1, 2003, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for international trade in rough diamonds was implemented. As a result, all rough diamonds being traded between Kimberley Process participants under Customs Tariff Subheadings 7102.10, 7102.21 and 7102.31 must be accompanied by a Kimberley Process certificate”.  Basically, it means that any importer in let’s say Canada or USA has to get a certificate of origin for the rough diamonds that they are importing. Is this 100% safe or conflict-free? Probably not, but it’s as good as it can get, unless you buy from a provider of American or Canadian diamonds only! That is an excellent question to ask your retailer before you make your loose diamond or engagement ring purchase.

Read more about Canadian-mined diamonds

Canadian-Mined Diamonds

Posted by admin on June 22, 2007
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Canadian Diamonds

When diamonds were first discovered in the North West Territories in the late 1991, Canada did not anticipate that it would become one of the most renowned diamond producers. The country has since expanded its production to other areas and territories such as Nunavut and Yukon.

So Why Are Canadian Diamonds so Special?

Canadian Diamonds have rapidly gained a world reputation for quality and cleanliness. Cleanliness refers to the fact that they are not blood diamonds or conflict diamonds. They are what we call conflict-free diamonds. The Government of Canada ensures fair labor practices in all Canadian diamond mines.

High Quality vs. Price

Apart from the cleanliness factor, Canadian diamonds are also recognized for their very high quality. Some of them are considered brighter than any other diamonds in the world (of course you can take that with a grain of salt, but keep in mind that most of them are of very good quality!).

Should I buy Canadian Diamonds?

That’s a question of personal preference. You should know that if you buy from Canada or from the U.S., the Kimberly Process for Rough Diamonds also ensures that you will get conflict-free diamonds. Of course, an importer could still theoretically lie when filling out their certificate of origin with the Canada Border Services Agency or with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In the end, if you buy a Canadian-mined diamond, you can be 99.9% sure that it is not a blood diamond!

Conflict Diamonds in Sierra Leone

Posted by admin on April 22, 2007
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Ok, I’m telling you in advance, this video is very graphic, so if you don’t want to see any violence or physical abuse, do not watch this video.

It shows the very bad conditions in Sierra Leone. That is where the blood diamonds expression originated from… To learn more about about it, please read our section about blood diamonds

Another video… Rated 16+/18+.

Do not watch if your heart is sensitive!

Kimberley Process for Rough Diamonds

Posted by admin on February 22, 2007
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Definition of the Kimberley Process for Rough Diamonds

Okay, so if you’ve been reading our site carefully, you have probably noticed by now that we keep on mentioning the Kimberley Process for Rough Diamonds.

The Kimberley Process was first created by South Africa in 2000 in order to prevent blood diamonds from entering legitimate markets and the rest of the world. The idea was that every importer of a country that has ratified the Kimberley Process has to declare the origin of the diamonds through a certificate of origin.

The Kimberley Process imposes strict requirements on its members so that they can certify rough diamonds as conflict-free (as opposed to conflict diamonds or blood diamonds). As of 2007, the Kimberley Process has over 48 members, representing about 75 countries in the world (Europe counts as one member, thus the discrepancy between the number of members and the number of countries)to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as ‘conflict-free’. As of September 2007, the KP has 48 members, representing 74 countries, with the European Community and its Member States counting as an individual participant.

Is the Kimberley Process effective?

As of 2008, The quantity of blood diamonds imported to industrialized countries has been diminished from roughly 4% to not more than 1%. On the other hand, the diamond industry will not rest until that all diamonds imported are conflict-free. That is a bit utopian, but one can only hope…

kimberley Process for Rough Diamonds

kimberley Process for Rough Diamonds