The United Nations defines conflict diamonds as those “that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognised government, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the Security Council”
Fortunately, the diamond and jewellery industry has been very aware of the conflict diamond problem for a number of years now, and alongside International welfare, trade and government organisations, the Diamond Council has been working to ensure that only legitimate diamonds, which are conflict free, come into the diamond industry.
With this in mind the Kimberley process was set up through the United Nations in the year 2000 when approximately 4% of the worlds trade involved conflict diamonds, now that figure is less than 1% and by working together, we hope it can be eradicated altogether .
Since the late 1990′s, the world’s diamond industry has been taking steps to address the problem of conflict diamonds. Working with international governments, the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations, two important programs were established in 2003 to ensure only legitimately sourced diamonds are traded. These programs are the Kimberley Process Certification System (KP) and the System of Warranties (SoW). All diamonds traded after 1 January 2003 are required to comply with these programs. Australia is one of 69 counties that are signatories to the Kimberley Process.
The diamond industry adopted a System of Warranties to further assure consumers of their diamonds
. Once imported and ready to be traded, a written statement must accompany all invoices, guaranteeing that the diamonds or diamond jewellery being sold are from legitimate sources.
Under this system, every buyer and seller of polished diamonds and jewellery containing diamonds must make the following assurance statement on all invoices:
“The diamonds herein invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations resolutions. The seller hereby guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier of these diamonds.” Diamond traders and diamond jewellery manufacturers are required to keep records of their invoices and have them audited on an annual basis.