Here at Charles Rose, we only source diamonds that have been certified by the Kimberley Process, which is an international system that regulates the trade of rough diamonds. We go above and beyond to make sure that our diamonds are conflict free and of the highest quality. We believe our customers deserve nothing less. Keep reading to learn more about the Kimberley Process and how it ensures that our diamonds are conflict free.
Diamond Trade and Developing Nations
Diamond mining is a significant source of foreign capital, salaries, and tax revenue for many developing countries. The global diamond industry employs some 10 million people directly and indirectly worldwide. The vast majority of diamonds purchased in the West bring benefits to millions of poor residents from African countries, including Namibia, South Africa, and Botswana (diamonds represent 33% of the GDP of Botswana). These developing nations use this revenue in the development of infrastructure and essential social services. The Kimberley Process has helped benefit the people of many African nations: “For our people, every diamond purchase represents food on the table; better living conditions; better healthcare; safe drinking water; more roads to connect our remote communities, and much more.”–President Mogae of Botswana, June 7, 2006.
What is the Kimberley Process?
The Kimberley Process is an international certification system for diamonds that aims to prevent “conflict diamonds” from entering the rough diamond supply chain. In order to be certified by the Kimberley Process, a diamond cannot be used to finance conflict in war-torn areas such as Sierra Leone, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme began in 2000, in Kimberly, South Africa, in response to public outcry over the role that conflict diamonds played in funding brutal civil wars in Africa. These diamonds were often referred to as “blood diamonds,” as they claimed the lives of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. After being tabled on the UN General Assembly agenda, the Kimberley Process came into full effect in 2003, when participating countries started implementing the rules laid out by the KPCS.
As of today, there are 59 participants (representing 85 countries) that form part of the certification scheme and the Kimberley Process has been credited with reducing the number of conflict diamonds on the market from 4% in 2000 to less than 1% today.
How Does the Kimberley Process Work?
In order to receive certification from the Kimberley Process, a diamond must meet certain criteria regarding its origins. For example, a Kimberley Certified diamond cannot come from a country where there is evidence of rebel factions using diamond revenues to fund their war efforts. In order to receive certification, a country must put into place national legislation, institutions, and strict import and export controls, plus meet the minimum requirements set out by the Kimberley Process.
The minimum requirements include:
- Establishing internal controls to eliminate conflict diamonds in imports and exports
- Appoint Import and Export Authorities
- Ensure that rough diamonds are transported in tamper-resistant packaging
- Collect and maintain records relating to the production, import, and export of rough diamonds
Furthermore, countries must commit to transparency regarding mining practices, exchange statistical data, and only trade with members of the Kimberley Process who meet the requirements of the KPCs agreement. Finally, countries must certify rough diamond shipments as conflict-free and provide proof thereof in the form of supporting certification. Member countries of the Kimberley Process meet once per year to review progress and discuss any changes that need to be made to the certification system.
The industry-accepted definition of an ethical diamond is a natural diamond that has been mined in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including those relating to labour, safety, and the environment. Today, more than 99% of the world’s diamonds are certified as “conflict-free” by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. However, the definition of an “ethical diamond” goes beyond being conflict-free; it also includes considerations of labour practices and environmental impact.
This means ethical diamond mining does not involve child labour, exploitation, dangerous working conditions, slavery, or environmentally irresponsible mining practices. In order for a diamond to be regarded as “ethical,” it must also meet a set of standards set forth by the Kimberley Process.
Ethical diamonds are sourced from mines that are compliant with all local laws and regulations and whose employees are paid a fair wage. Additionally, a truly ethical diamond should be a product of environmentally responsible mining practices.
The term “conflict diamonds” or “blood diamonds” is used to describe diamonds that are mined and illegally traded in areas controlled by rebel groups who use the sale of these diamonds to fund their war efforts to undermine legitimate governments. Both these terms refer to diamonds that are not certified by the Kimberley Process.
At Charles Rose, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of responsible sourcing practices within the jewellery industry. Our team is passionate about promoting transparency and accountability throughout our supply chain so that our customers can feel good about their purchases. By providing a premium International diamond grading certification as part of the Kimberley certified diamonds program, our clients can rest assured that we only use ethically sourced diamonds in every Charles Rose jewellery design.