What are conflict diamonds?

 

 

Around 2/3rd of all diamonds are produced in Africa in areas that are classified by the united nations as conflict zones”.


Conflict
zones mean areas that do not have a stable government and are controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments.

 

These factions, armed militias and insurgents mine these diamonds (usually by force) and trade them to fund terror acts, civil wars, child soldiers and slave labor.
To put this issue in perspective, it's estimated that 3 million people died in the process of blood diamond mining, and large amounts of money originating from the diamond trade, go to fund Al-Qaeda.
"conflict mining" is done by largely untrained working force, facing both physical and health threats, mostly against their will. 

 

Conflict diamonds have been known to fund civil wars in the Ivory coast, Angola and Zair, as well as terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda.


African diamond miner

 
 

What is the Kimberly process?

 

 

After conflict diamonds (or "blood diamonds", as they are more commonly known) came to light after a weapons-for-diamonds trade was uncovered in Sierra Leone
in the mid 1990s (and further investigations into this matter revealed even more atrocities) many countries, felt they had to step in.


Kimberly committee in US plannery, 2012


On mid 2000, the town of Kimberly, South Africa, held a special, first of it's kind meeting. This gathering included diamond producing countries, including Israel who played a major part of this process, who drafted a procedure and a "conflict free diamond certification" method to create "background checks" and track every stone - from the mine to the market.
 

This process, titled “Kimberly process significantly reduced the amount of untraceable rough diamonds, or stones from slave labor and conflict areas, ensuring civil rights
and fair-trade fine gems and diamonds

Most importantly, this assures customers that buying certified diamonds do not contribute to violence. It is also embraced by many NGOs (such as Amnesty international) as a great step forward in ensuring human rights in Africa. While criticized for not doing enough to ensure "blood for diamond" acts cease to exist, due to this process, it's estimated that today less then 4% of rough diamonds sold are "conflict diamonds". This outcome is due to continueus legislation and struggles of the kimberley process committee, who is now upheld in over 70 countries. 


Even today, almost 13 years after it was established, changes in the hot african geo-political climate creates shifts in the member's list. For example, on may 2013, the CAR (Central African Republic) government fell to the hands of rebel forces who were funded by the selling of rough diamonds. As a countermeasure, the Kimberly Process excluded CAR from the initiative, making all CAR diamonds conflict diamonds, effectively cutting this source of funding for the rebels, until a proper government will be instated. While this may not sound intimidating, diamonds consist of around 50% of the CARs export, therefore branding these diamonds as unwanted sends a staggering blow to the country's economy. On the other side, during september 2013, an invastigation into the regime of Mugabe reveals that there are no direct ties to the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, re-adding Zimbabwe to the "safe" list again. 

 

We at glogowski tirelessly uphold the Kimberly process. and as members of the Israeli diamond exchange who co-created this process, go to great lengths in order to ensure that our diamonds are conflict free. Diamonds are mined in many countries, all over the world, where they provide employment opportunities and a source of a better life.

 

Our clarity enhanced diamonds are beautiful and pure, not just due to their quality, but also for their history.

 

If you want to find out more about the history of diamonds, read about our traditional diamonds

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