Proudly Providing a Positive Pathway

The process mining diamonds in peace

Thousands of times a day around the world diamonds do what they do best – arouse wonder and appreciation of our natural world, spread joy, and represent true love. Whether as a special gift, reaffirming your commitment to a partner or making marriage dreams come true, diamonds get it done.

A Certified Gift

Real diamonds are birthed of mother Earth.

Although rough around the edges at first, these super stones embody fascinating facet and polish potential. Jewellers in one of the over 80 member countries of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) know with certainty that they can trust their peers and trading partners. As jewellers, we’ve earned the trust of clients too. Before patting ourselves on the back too quickly, how many more loyal customers could we attract and build long term bonds with if we simply shared more details about how the certification process benefits them?

Despite increased awareness due to the blockbuster movie Blood Diamonds, many prospective diamond shoppers are still not aware that “conflict stone” mainstream market infiltration has dropped swiftly – from about 4% to less than 0.2%. Further still, few realize that Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) existed before the Kimberley Process (KP) became official. In fact, PAC was jointly nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for exposing conflict diamond links and stunting conflict stone trading before international efforts took hold.

In 2002, The Export and Import of Rough Diamonds Act passed in Canada which influenced upcoming KP regulations. This proactive initiative counteracted violations of other mining and trading countries by requiring a “Canadian Certificate” for all diamond shipments.

Praising a Proven Process

Under influence of threatening consumer boycotts, KPCS took force in 2003 with an inaugural meeting in Kimberley, SA.

 Many years earlier a System of Warrantees (SOW), instituted by the World Diamond Council (WDC) provided guidelines of how to operate within the KP sphere of influence for World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) members. A UN landmark resolution was adopted in 2000 (enacted in 2003) supporting creation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds.

Affiliated bourses (WFDB members) trade close to 95% of the world’s rough and polished diamonds across every continent. Keeping the global diamond pipeline clear of conflict stones is serious business since any member found contravening the process are up for expulsion.

 Canada was one of the first KP chair countries which were set up on a rotating basis. Botswana, India, USA, and China (amongst other nations) have also chaired over the years. Such buy-in has kept the bar of integrity high and significantly subdues the probability of conflict stones entering mainstream markets. Kimberley Process members account for approximately 99% of rough diamond global production.

A Protecting Process That Sparkles…

Preserving a natural resource such as the diamond takes morality, common sense, respect, and all the love required to safeguard this marvelous mineral for future generations.

“Members of the diamond business are optimistic by nature –

we cannot be otherwise due to the beauty of the products we deal

with day by day and for what they represent: love, commitment

and long-lasting relationships.”

– Ernest Blom, WFDB President

As one of the founding members of the WDC, the WFDB consistently upholds integrity not only among its own worldwide members but as a mentor to the diamond industry at large. Nothing less than stringent requirements are adhered to which clearly influenced the minimum requirements set for KP member countries. Certified conflict free shipments of diamonds is just one step necessary in the diamond chain that supports value to all involved.

Thanks to KP protections and WFDB involvement, diamonds account for 33% of Botswana’s GDP with an annual growth rate averaging 7%. Diamond revenues allow Botswana children to receive free education up to 13 years old.

The construction of hospitals, medical centers and hospices encompass a healthcare infrastructure supported by diamonds in Africa which was once devastated by illicit trade of conflict diamonds. Globally, it is estimated that close to 5 million people benefit from diamond revenues by receiving access to improved healthcare.

In the late 1800s, little did the boy that found a “pebble” along the banks of the Orange River in the Kimberley region of Africa realize that well over one hundred and thirty years later Kimberley, SA, would hold an inaugural meeting to protect future “pebbles”  from becoming conflict stones and also gain protections for alluvial artisanal miners. As you know, that “pebble” turned out to be an 80 carat diamond which set off a diamond rush in Africa almost overnight.

As a natural extension of improvements in the diamond industry brought about the KP, a Development Initiative was established to improve artisanal miner working conditions. About one million alluvial diamond diggers thrive in the sector and over 10 million people are supported by the diamond industry around the globe directly or indirectly.

Goodwill from the KP extends to many orphaned South African children too. Thanks to Jewelers for Children, a charity that funds community care programs, loving families provide open arms for these children.

Past, Present, and Future: Coming Together

Like the past/present/future diamond setting, Canada’s past history and continuing ethical activity provides a strong foundation in the diamond industry that directly benefits consumers worldwide by cancelling “conflict” with confidence.

Today, overseeing the Kimberley Process involves “review visits”, annual reports, and both intercessional and plenary meetings. Working with international bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force allows the WFDB to assist our beloved diamond industry with financial transparency in all dealings.

There are those that watch things happen, those that wonder what happened, and those that make things happen. Given the past and current dedication of industry professionals it is great to see our young up-and-coming generation striving to ensure we all continue to move positively forward.

Be a proud part of the process – make a difference because the enjoyment of real, genuine “conflict free” diamonds serve to help many people around the world in a wonderfully sparkly way.