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Archive for June 20th, 2006

Diamond Movie

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

diamond movieThe Blood Diamond movie worried dealers in the industry that, in a knee jerk reaction, sales might be adversely affected by the movies upon its release.

At a World Diamond Congress in Tel Aviv last week industrial diamond leaders were advised sale may undergo a decline when the Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Aniston movie about “conflict diamonds” being used to finance savage wars in Sierra Leone in which 50 thousand people were killed in a civil war, opened for release.

Industry leaders were quick to point out, however, that the situation has changed with the introduction of a new system certifying the original of legitimate diamonds. “The problem of conflict diamonds is practically over,” said Shmuel Schnitzer of the World Federation of Diamond Bours

The vast majority of all diamonds however are quite legitimate and come from well known standard sources, De Beers in South Africa are probably the biggest producers of diamonds, with Russia, Canada and the US coming close behind.

If you want to know where a diamond comes from you can ask the dealer or jeweler for a certificate of origination.

Of course you should always ask for a independent certificate to show the qualities of the diamond. The cut, color, clarity and carat weight are most important when it comes to assessing the value of a diamond.

And, apart from the dramatics, the diamond movie is a good movie to emphasis the cost of black market diamonds.

Blood Diamonds

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Blood DiamondsWhat is a blood diamond? Regrettably some diamonds come from areas where there is conflict. These diamonds are also known as conflict diamonds and originate in areas where there are forces opposed to the current government and such diamonds are used to fund and finance military action and armed rebellion.

Such diamonds are born out of misery and death and it is easy to make someone guilty for wearing a diamond that ‘might’ have come from such an area. Quite rightly the promotion and sales of such diamonds is to be deplored and the public are becoming increasingly aware of such diamonds.

In many African countries, including Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) diamonds have been, and continue to be linked to terrible human rights abuses either by insurgent groups to fuel conflict and carry out atrocities against innocent civilians or by unscrupulous government who are equally brutal. Conflict Diamonds have been at the heart of some of Africa’s most protracted and bloody wars. Diamonds have fuelled conflicts in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone, destroying nations and costing an estimated 3.7 million lives.

However not all diamonds come from such areas and in fact only a small quanitity of the overall production of diamonds comes from such areas.

So how can you tell the difference between a conflict or blood diamond from a legitimate one? A ‘Certificate of origin’ can be an effective way of ensuring that you are only buying a legitimate diamond.

In January 2003, the Kimberley Process, an international diamond certification system, was introduced to eradicate the trade in conflict diamonds. As a result of pressure from NGOs, the diamond industry and governments agreed to this scheme to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate diamond trade.

As part of the Kimberly Process the diamond industry agreed to a system of warranties requiring that those in the diamond industry buy diamonds only from companies that provide guarantees that their diamonds do not come from conflict sources. This means that as a consumer you can expect jewellers to provide you with documentary evidence to prove that any diamond you buy is guaranteed to be conflict-free.

In partnership with the Cooperative Bank, Amnesty International and ActionAid, and with your support, Global Witness intends to present your pledges to the Kimberley Process participants at their next meeting in South Africa.

For further information on conflict diamonds visit ActionAid and Amnesty International. To read about the Cooperative Bank and their ethically-led initiatives visit Co-operative Bank

It is better than knowing one is wearing blood diamonds.

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