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Conflict Resolution

What you Can Do to Promote Conflict Free Diamonds

Shlomit G asked:

International efforts are being done to ensure that the Kimberly Process will be effective. However the Process alone will not be able to completely eradicate the trade in blood diamonds. Participating nations have to strictly follow guidelines and show more transparency, companies would have to help by divulging names of people involved in the trade, a thing they won’t do, jewelry stores need to have policies regarding blood diamonds, and consumers have to do their part.

As a consumer you might feel that you cannot directly make an impact towards the resolution of this issue especially since diamonds are rare commodities and thus is something you can just stop buying. After all, the average person buys a diamond only once or twice in his lifetime. However, you can still make a difference.

Buying a Conflict Free Diamond

When considering to buy a diamond, remember that it is a once in a lifetime purchase and you want to make sure that you buy a conflict free diamond. Thanks to the Kimberly Process, the diamond industry promised to write invoices of all diamond purchases that contain guarantees that the sold diamonds are conflict-free diamonds. Whereas before it was impossible to tell whether a diamond was a conflict-free, the warranties now identify conflict-free diamonds from questionable diamonds. However, in a 2004 survey conducted by Amnesty international and Global Witness they found that only 11% of retail stores in the United States had a policy regarding blood diamonds. 67% of the retail stores would not comment and divulge whether they had any policy or not. The rest did not have any. This means that they still do not issue warranties and therefore sell diamonds of questionable origins. The first thing you can do is to not buy diamonds or diamond jewelry with no guarantees. Check their invoices. They should keep a record of invoices and see if there are any guarantees in the invoices. The retailer, if abiding by the Kimberly Process, will not buy from suppliers who do not provide guarantees. Ask about the stores policy on conflict diamonds as well. Buy only from those that have a clear firm policy. Even if you have no more intention of buying from a store that you perceive might not have any policy at all, ask the question still. Asking questions and making them produce copies of guarantees will not only ensure that you buy conflict-free diamonds but will also send them the message that consumers are becoming aware of the problem and would not buy from irresponsible stores. This would put pressure on the diamond industry to act more responsibly since they will see that non compliance with the Kimberly Process will affect their profit.

Conflict Free Diamonds – Take Action

Other things you can do is to sign up with Global Witness on their Diamond Pledge and be faithful to the pledge itself. Help raise consumer awareness about conflict diamonds by sharing your knowledge to your family and friends and anybody else

who would listen. Do it by word of mouth, give away educational leaflets, hold a tabling event or start a letter campaign. Doing your part will help a lot. As of June 2003, 26% of consumers have become aware of the issue as compared to the 7% in 2000. As more and more consumers become aware of the problem more will decide to buy conflict-free diamonds and thus help in stopping the illicit trade.

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