DiamondsByMe maintains close relationships with major diamond traders. As mentioned before, fair trade is of the utmost importance to us. It follows, then, that we only buy our diamonds at dealers registered through the KPCS (Kimberley Process Certification Scheme).
Nowadays the totality of the Antwerp diamond exchange is registered through the KPCS. The accounts of traders are checked for sales and purchases and they are obliged to cooperate. Every invoice is required to state whether a purchase conforms to the Kimberley Process standards. This is how we, at DiamondsByMe, are able to make sure all your purchases will be conflict free.
What is the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme?
The Kimberley Process is an international joint effort based in self-regulation between countries, NGOs and diamond-related industries. Its purpose is to ban conflict diamonds from the international diamond market in order to prevent funding of militant organizations that seek to overthrow legitimate governments. This joint scheme was founded in 2000 and is named after the town Kimberley in South Africa where it originated. In the year 2003 the KPCS came into effect.
Conflict diamonds are also called blood diamonds and originate in areas of political turmoil. These conflicted areas are often located in Africa. The profits made through sales of diamonds in these areas are often used to fund insurgent militias. One may conclude, then, that the trade of diamonds caused many cases of violence by rebel movements.
Participants of the KPCS are required to enable the operators of the scheme to establish whether traded rough diamonds are certifiably ‘conflict free’. Participants are only allowed to legitimately trade with other participants who meet the same standards. Through the operation of the KPCS an effective means to counter trade in conflict diamonds has been established.
The main objective of the KPCS is to improve international peace and safety. Its impact is self-evident as the Kimberley Process already had a significant positive impact on diamond trade. For example: the number of conflict diamonds entering the international market has lowered significantly over a short time span. While in the 1990s 15% of international trade in diamonds consisted of trading of conflict diamonds, this number has now been reduced to but a fraction of a percent.
Individual nations are free to work with the Kimberley Process. Nowadays, 81 nations worldwide take part in the joint scheme. Together these countries represent 99,8% of producers of diamonds around the world.
The KPCS requires participants to adhere to a strict set of regulations. Participants can only import ‘blood free’ diamonds. Additionally they have to prevent blood diamonds from entering legitimate markets. Every member of the KPCS has to achieve a level of transparency and must be willing to share necessary details to do so when asked to by the KPCS. International shipping of rough diamonds needs to be accompanied by a certificate that confirms the diamonds’ ‘blood free’ status. The KPCS performs meticulous checks on the import of conflict free diamonds.
Perhaps you’re aware of the movie Blood Diamond. We do recommend it! This impressive film shows what diamond trade used to look like and how it still takes place in some places around the world. A few weeks back we told you all about our focus on responsibly mined material and our Responsible Jewellery Council membership in our blog on responsible gold, but besides our desire to work with responsible gold we wish our diamonds to have a responsible and fair background as well. To ban so-called blood diamonds from legitimate exchanges, the Kimberley Process was founded.