Fair Trade Diamonds
What is the Kimberley Process and how does Lux Bond & Green support it?
The Kimberley Process is a government-regulated system that was adopted in 2000 by more than 40 countries, the United Nations and the diamond industry to control the export and import of rough diamonds across borders. It is a vital step toward impeding the trade of conflict diamonds. Conflict diamonds, also known as blood diamonds, are diamonds that may originate in areas once controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments. They are often used to fund military action against those governments. Conflict diamonds have been linked to atrocities in Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In order to put an end to financing violence and to set consumer's minds at ease about funding human rights violations, diamond producing and trading countries met in Kimberley, South Africa in May of 2000 to devise a solution.
In the same year various organizations within the diamond industry came together to found the World Diamond Council. The ultimate mandate for the World Diamond Council is to develop, implement and oversee a tracking system to monitor the export and import of rough diamonds. This will prevent the exploitation of diamonds for illicit purposes such as war and inhumane acts.
With the support of the United Nations, the diamond industry, world governments and NGOs went to work. It was the first time that a global industry cooperated with the United Nations, governments and civil society to address an important humanitarian issue.
Nearly two years of negotiations ultimately produced the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). The scheme outlines strict standards for rough diamond trade to prevent conflict diamond trafficking. To eliminate the traffic in conflict diamonds, governments, the international diamond and jewelry industry, and non-governmental organizations have developed a two-pronged solution that provides greater assurance to consumers about the legitimate origin of their diamonds and diamond jewelry.
The first prong is the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme which requires that rough diamonds mined after January1, 2003 be shipped in tamper-resistant containers and are accompanied by government-validated Kimberley Process Certificates. Only participating countries may legitimately export rough diamonds — and only to co-participating countries.
The second prong of the Kimberley Process is the Voluntary System of Warranties: This system requires that every time diamonds —rough diamonds, polished diamonds or diamond jewelry change hands, the seller will affirm on the invoice that the diamonds have been purchased through non-conflict channels.
In September 2000, prior to the formation of the Kimberley process and shortly after the World Diamond Council was formed, Lux Bond & Green issued letters to all its vendors insisting that they be vigilant about not purchasing diamonds from conflict areas. All Lux Bond & Green vendors were asked to sign a document to that effect.
There are now a total of 69 countries, including those represented by the European Commission, currently participating in the Kimberley Process. Together, these participants account for approximately 99.8% of the global production of rough diamonds. The process has been very effective and continues to evolve. Annual meetings and open communication between participants is bringing the world increasingly closer to eradicating conflict diamond trading across the globe and also ensuring that the positive benefits of diamonds that play a role in providing prosperity — a key ingredient of peace comes to many African countries.
Information in the paragraphs above is adapted from the following source: Kimberley Process Web Site. 31 Mar 2005
For further information on the Kimberley Process please visit www.diamondfacts.org
Lux Bond & Green's Policy Since 1898 the Green family has been committed to quality and value and has taken the utmost care to do business only with suppliers who possess integrity. We have always demanded the highest business ethics from our suppliers. Lux Bond & Green has always been and remains dedicated to ensuring that none of the diamonds we buy are conflict diamonds. Lux Bond & Green fully supports the Kimberley Process. Financing violence is unacceptable to us and our organization and we take this issue very seriously.
Purchasing stones directly from cutters allows us to be extremely cautious and selective with our suppliers. We only buy from sources that adhere to the Kimberley Process and the Voluntary System of Warranties.