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DeBeers Conflict Diamonds

DeBeers Conflict Diamonds

There is a lot of information about what are known as DeBeers Conflict Diamonds and many Conflict diamond papers have been written.

This all affects the price and value of diamonds but it is not necessary to know all about conflict or blood diamonds to understand it.

Very basically whereas once money was used to finance arms and wars, now diamonds are being used. Not just in Africa but also in South America.

But some wars are fought over the control and mining of diamonds also. These are blood or conflict diamonds.

A chequered outline of the events in Sierra Leone and conflict diamonds is featured in the up and coming movie “Blood Diamonds”, and there are many sites that outline the atrocities people are willing to commit.

After something like 17 years of ignoring the issue and dealing in diamonds that could be suspect, DeBeers finally moved out of Sierra Leone selling their stake to the corrupt officials in charge at that time and distancing themselves from conflict diamonds. DeBeers have been an active proponent of the Kimberley process designed to prevent conflict or blood diamonds hitting the market..

The Kimberly process is a certificated system of tracing diamonds from their origin to the retail market, has been set up to control the illegal traffic in diamonds

This, however is largely a paper tiger as many diamonds, some say up to 25 percent of the worlds production, is still trafficked illegally and not just in south Africa. South America plays a significant part with Brazil and Venezuela having a flourishing illegal trade in diamonds outside of the Kimberly Process (see Kimberley Process for more information on the Kimberley Process.

Diamonds can be moved illegally however from one country to another and then certified in the other country so a better way is really needed.

In Venezuela, for example, most if not all of the diamonds produced are smuggled out of the country and then can be certified elsewhere.

Laser marking diamonds at source has been one method proposed to ensure that diamonds, when they hit the market, can be considered not conflict or blood diamonds. This would assist, despite the extra cost, in ensuring that illegal diamonds are not hitting the market place.

Certainly something more substantial needs to be done.

When you go and buy a diamond, it is a good idea to ensure there is a certificate to state the diamond you are purchasing is not a Conflict or Blood Diamond.


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