Conflict Diamonds

by Shweta Dhanuka

Conflict Diamonds are referred to those stones that originate from vicinity controlled by the group of people who are recognized as rebel in the eyes of the government. Such stones are put on the market for sale to provide finances for the illicit and illegitimate action of these rebels, military and terrorist factions. Converted diamond, Blood diamond and War diamond are additional names for this diamond variant.

Conflict Diamonds are referred to those stones that originate from vicinity controlled by the group of people who are recognized as rebel in the eyes of the government. Such stones are put on the market for sale to provide finances for the illicit and illegitimate action of these rebels, military and terrorist factions. Converted diamond, Blood diamond and War diamond are additional names for this diamond variant.

conflict diamondsThese are mostly found in war torn African countries. Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are most severely affected countries by this gemstone. The illegal groups terrorize, injure or kill the innocent citizen to mine the diamonds so as to control the local diamond trade. The brutal wars that happened in Angola and Sierra Leone were very much terrorizing. In the year 1998, United Nations General Assembly came to know about these atrocious actions of terrorists behind the diamond trade. Also, they found that how the profits earned from the diamond trade is used for funding the terror attacks in different parts of the world. Since then they took some measures to control it.

Blocking the Conflict Diamond in the Diamond Market

Combating Conflict Diamonds' campaign, commenced in the year 1998 uncovered the funding means of terror groups for their brutal activities. World was shocked to learn that the precious gemstone 'Diamond' they adore is used to create the violence in different parts of the world. Since then diamond sold by terrorists was named as 'Conflict Diamond'. People across the globe demanded the actions to block these diamonds entering the diamond market.

As a result, in May 2000 diamond industry representatives, NGOs and United Nation Government officials met at Kimberley, South Africa to establish the method to eliminate the conflict diamond trade and assure the buyers that diamonds they are buying are conflict-free diamonds. This meeting was hosted by the South African government. In this meeting the method to control the conflict diamond sale was initiated. On January, 2001 the new organization, the World Diamond Council was formed. The new council drafted the process and essential documents that would certify the legitimate diamond. The litigious negotiations went on for more than two years between the council, government and NGOs to establish the Kimberley Certification Process, an international diamond certification scheme.

Kimberley Certification Process System

This system came into existence in the year 2003. Since then it is working towards the objective of safeguard of the gemstone market against conflict diamonds entering the legitimate diamond supply chain. It demands for 'Certificate of Origin' with every delivery of diamond. 'Certificate of Origin' is the only document that can differentiate between the conflict diamonds and other legitimate diamond. It is the well-structured form issued from the government, having the information in accordance with the standards set (in relation with the origin location of the stone) by the World Diamond Council. It acts as a proof that diamonds are created, sold and exported through legal channels.

In order to control the trade of conflict diamonds, government inspects and monitors this important document associated with every export and import and enforces the new laws in opposition to those who fail to meet the terms. It is the sincere effort from the government to stop these diamonds to reach the market. Once it reaches the gemstone market and gets polished then it becomes almost impossible to identify the legitimate diamonds. Therefore, it is crucial to produce the 'Certificate of Origin' on every single transaction of the diamond trade by all the countries participating in it. With this certification process the government's transparency increases as the origin and total cost of diamond is recorded in the government books.

Consumer's Duty

It is duty of consumer to strongly ask for the 'Certificate of Origin' document at the time of purchase. This would ensure that the seller gives the required certificate and guarantee that the diamond being purchased by the buyer is conflict-free diamond. This would in turn spread the message that consumers would not support the countries that furnish finance for the terror group's activities.

Since thousands of years, Diamond had been known as the symbol of love and affection. It would never come even in the wildest of the dream that diamond could be the means for causing violence and misery in the peaceful world. People with unethical and inhuman intentions like terrorist or rebels have used beautiful gemstone diamond to create the feeling of terror and hatred instead of humanity and love in the past but now it is under control. Thanks to the sincere and dedicated efforts of Diamond Council, United Nations and NGOs that by establishing Kimberley Certification Process the presence of conflict diamond in the World diamond trade is controlled to the satisfactory level. However, every gemstone enthusiast waits for the day when the entire world becomes free of conflict diamonds.

Each and every individual must ask for the 'Certificate of Origin' while making the purchase of diamond or diamond jewelry. In this way, each one of us could be satisfied till the bottom of our heart that our hardcore earned money is not directly or indirectly used for creating the violence. All of us have to act together to make this world free of Conflict diamonds and continue the diamonds to be associated with only love, care and warmth.

 
Home > GemStones »