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Conflict-Free Diamonds

Why the Kimberley Process is not enough

Almost every jeweller will tell you that their diamonds are Kimberley-certified and that they are therefore conflict-free diamonds. Unfortunately, however, the Kimberley Process does not provide this guarantee.

In 2002, in an attempt to eliminate the trade in conflict diamonds which had fuelled wars in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone, fifty-two governments ratified the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

This scheme requires that all rough diamonds crossing an international border should be transported in a tamper-resistant container and accompanied by a government-validated Kimberley Process Certificate; that each certificate should be resistant to forgery, uniquely numbered and describe the shipment's contents; and that shipments are only permitted between KPCS participant countries.

While the Kimberley Process has reduced the trade in conflict diamonds, unfortunately the problem has not been eliminated, and diamonds produced in conflict zones are being smuggled to neighbouring regions to be certified. Blood diamonds from the rebel-held north of Cote d'Ivoire and from eastern DRC are still entering the market, as are diamonds from Zimbabwe where the army has taken control of diamond fields by force, killing and raping local people, and making others work under the threat of violence.

At Ingle & Rhode, all of our diamonds are Kimberley-certified, but in order to guarantee that they are conflict-free diamonds, we only use gems that we can trace back to source. To learn more, please visit our ethical diamonds page.

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