Martin Rapaport: Diamonds of life
WHO IS MARTIN RAPAPORT?
Martin Rapaport is a key player in the diamond market, not least because of the "Rapaport prices" that set diamond prices on a global scale. He promotes fair trade for the weakest in the diamond chain.
He determines the upward and downward trend in diamond prices. His opinion is therefore fundamental in the world of diamonds, due to his reputation for being honest and scrupulous in the field.
In 1978, he established the first diamond’s prices list, known as the “Rapaport report”, which has been accepted at the international level.
He also played an important role when the Kimberley Scheme (certification scheme for the international trade in rough diamonds) was set up.
Martin is really a rebel in the diamond’s world.
He was ahead of Hollywood, the press and international public opinion in denouncing what was behind the so-called "blood diamonds", a denunciation that achieved great success thanks to his particularly privileged position in the diamond business, long before anyone else had even considered denouncing what was happening in the heart of Africa. Martin Rapaport is therefore an institution in the diamond business and the diamond world, having mobilised the entire diamond industry in favour of fair trade in this sector.
Martin Rapaport has invited numerous personalities and celebrities to diamond conflict zones. This has resulted in the establishment of the "Kimberley Certification" (a certification that the diamonds are of clean origin and have not been used to finance armed conflict) and the International Diamond Conference, a conference where non-governmental organisations such as Global Witness and Amnesty International are regularly invited to meet with diamond industry leaders to express their concerns and demands.
FOR A DIAMOND FAIR TRADE
Fair trade in diamonds is key to Rapaport's work, a fair trade that begins with artisanal mining. In this way, miners sign up to the Artisanal Mining programme promoted by Rapaport and bring their diamonds to public auction, diamonds produced and traded that have acquired the mark and guarantee of a fair and clean origin.
This is complemented by the participation of NGOs such as Global Witness, as well as the US Agency for International Development, who have invested significant resources, knowing that the only way out for these mining communities and therefore their countries is the Fairtrade diamond route.
Rapaport's impetus has shown that, even in the diamond industry, change is possible; he demonstrated this by establishing a price control system that ended self-serving price manipulation, as well as by establishing the "Kimberley Process" as a certification of the bloodless origin of diamonds, systems that have proven effective and have been accepted and applied by the diamond industry without question.
But, as always in these cases, it is the end consumers who bear a large part of the responsibility, who can and should demand the guarantees (certified diamonds) to ensure the clean origin of the diamond we buy.