Question : Blood Diamonds
Hi Robert, thank you very much for providing all this information about conflict diamonds. I have been googling to find out as much information as possible about blood diamonds before I decide if I want a diamond or if I should opt for one of the cheaper alternative stones. I have found some articles online that say the Kimberley Process only applies to rough diamonds and doesn’t apply to cut and polished diamonds even if they are funding human rights violations. Is this true? Are cut and polished blood diamonds subject to any regulation?
I understand the desire to avoid subsidizing rebels that use inhumane tactics to further their causes. And I did a lot of research to be sure that the jewelers I recommend are not selling those diamonds. They are all buy from suppliers that guarantee they follow the Kimberley guidelines, which means they get their stones from cutters that are safe from blood diamonds.
So if the cutter does not buy them, then the cut stones they cut are conflict-free. And if the stores only buy from conflict-free sources, then you are safe all the way up the chain. That is why the Kimberley Process focused on the trade of rough. The rest of the supply chain is easier to verify from there.
Here is a link to the official website for the Kimberley Process, where you can read all about how it works.
I would also like to share a bit of perspective that goes beyond that web page, from my own personal experience as a dealer of many types of gems over the years. I used to trade in the finest sapphires, rubies, emeralds, natural pearls, and other rare gems. To share the whole story, because they don’t have any monitoring system like the Kimberley Process for diamonds, those other gems are now more likely to be from questionable sources than diamonds are.
So please, if a jeweler can show their guarantees from major suppliers that they follow the Kimberley guidelines, then you can rest assured that, better than any other gem or mineral on the planet, diamonds are removed from that now.
On the other hand, if a jeweler cannot make that guarantee from their supplier statements, than you might want to be careful. But it is rare that small dealers have any of those stones in this country, or any of the other 54 member countries. Imports of those stones are not allowed.
Hope that helps!
— Robert Hensley