The concept of the “blood diamond” has been circulating for quite some time. There has been an ongoing issue that many people across the globe were not aware of until recently. While searching for ways to finance violence, warlords and insurgents in some countries found that they can unethically mine diamonds in war zones and sell them to generate income. Many countries were impacted by this practice however the overall number has begun to dwindle. Blood diamonds currently make up approximately 0.1% of the world’s overall production based on statistics produced by the United Nations and the Kimberley Process.
Before the Diamond Source Warranty Protocol
A May 2000 meeting of diamond producing states in South Africa held in Kimberley, Northern Cape was intended to create ways to stop the illegal trade of blood diamonds. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was unanimously adopted in 2003. Unfortunately the KP was not as effective as much of the world had wanted it to be. Even after reform efforts, the process had shortcomings that could not be remedied without dramatic changes.
Much Needed Improvement Arrives
Launched in October of 2012, the Diamond Source Warranty Protocol (you may also want to take a look at the Protocol’s Question & Answer page) sought to make the diamond trade more transparent in an effort to work towards what the Kimberley Process was meant to accomplish. This new protocol was established by the Jewelers of America (JA), Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) and the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America (DMIA). In a nutshell, the protocol is essentially a system that suppliers and sellers can use to make sure that diamonds were not obtained through unscrupulous sources. This applies to both polished and rough gems. This effort will hopefully gain momentum and stop the illegal buying and selling of diamonds obtained through tragic means.