A DIAMOND FOR EVER
In addition to its eternity, its value and its beauty, there are several facts to know, firstly that the diamond industry employs directly or indirectly, more than 10 million people in the world, but also that 65% of the world's diamonds come from African countries, and finally that 99% of the diamonds that circulate in the world have a legal origin, that is to say that they are in an area that respects the Kimberley Process, Spain is part of the system and the Kimberley Process with the active intervention of the Spanish jewellery sector since 2001.
What is a conflict diamond?
Through the Kimberley Process, a system was put in place to control the origin of diamonds flowing around the world in order to prevent the use of conflict diamonds. In the late 1990s, not only governments and non-governmental organisations, but more than 50 national and international diamond industry organisations from around the world, from mining companies to manufacturers' and traders' associations, were represented on the World Diamond Council.
Therefore, when buying a diamond, it is important to consider the following facts:
1.- A diamond is a valuable object, it is unique, natural and of great beauty since the beginning of mankind. Its purpose depends on the human being, 99% are of legal origin, this is an estimate because it cannot be verified and therefore only 1% are involved in the traffic of conflict diamonds.
2.- Spain only imports cut diamonds, which are not rough. Conflict diamonds are rough diamonds. However, Spain is a member of the Kimberley Process, and has been since November 2002, with implementation of the process coming into effect in January 2003.
3.- In 2001, when the Spanish jewellery sector learned about the situation of armed conflicts financed by diamonds, through non-governmental organisations, it encouraged the Spanish government to intervene in Kimberley Process meetings, stating that it is unacceptable to market products that encourage the violation of human rights and endanger humanity. The intervention of the Spanish Association of Jewellers, Goldsmiths and Watchmakers, representing industry and commerce, was published and documented.
4.- In 2000, the World Diamond Council announced a zero tolerance policy towards 'conflict diamonds'.
What is the Kimberley Process?
The Kimberley Process is an international control system that guarantees the legality of the origin of rough diamonds and controls the traceability of rough diamonds to the cutting process.
Under this system, the import of rough diamonds into the European Union is prohibited unless:
a) The diamonds are accompanied by a certificate validated by the competent authority of a country participating in the Process.
b) The diamonds are transported in tamper-resistant containers and the export stamps of the above-mentioned country are intact
c) The certificate clearly defines the shipment to which it refers.
These certificates contain a series of mandatory requirements, including: identification of the country of origin, whether the containers are tamper-proof, identification of the importer, weight/mass in carats, value in USD, number of lots, description of the goods, validation of the certificate by the exporting authority... In addition, a verification procedure can be carried out in case of suspicion, in which case the designated Community authority is authorised to open the containers.
When diamonds go through the cutting process, they have previously gone through controls anchored in the Kimberley system.
How do I know as a consumer that I am buying legal diamonds?
Jewellers sell cut diamonds not conflict diamonds which are rough.
By law, conflict diamonds are rough diamonds. They are not bought from the jeweller. These rough diamonds are controlled under the Kimberley system in 70 countries. The European Union controls the movement of these diamonds, however the European Union has banned the import of rough diamonds unless the requirements of the Kimberley certification scheme are met.