Conflict-Free Diamonds Fact Sheet
About Conflict-Free Diamonds:
The term “conflict diamonds,” interchangeably called “blood diamonds,” refers to rough stones that are mined and traded to finance the activities of militia groups in conflict with legitimate national governments. During the 1990s, conflicts in West Africa brought the problem to the world’s attention after citizens were terrorized by groups in control of the local diamond trade. While conflict diamonds accounted for less than 4 percent of the world’s total trade, concerned parties felt it necessary to address the situation.
The diamond industry, in cooperation with national governments and international organizations such as the United Nations, developed a program known as the Kimberley Process to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate trade. Today, it is estimated that less than 1 percent of rough diamonds entering the international supply chain are conflict stones.
The Kimberley Process
Formally enacted in 2003, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, KPCS, oversees the trade in rough diamonds as they move from the mine into the international retail market. The diamonds must be sealed in a tamper-resistant container that has a forgery-resistant certificate stating that the shipment is from a conflict-free source. A certificate, which has a unique serial number, must accompany each shipment of conflict-free diamonds to be exported. Also, the diamond industry further regulates the trade by providing evidence to purchasers that their diamonds comply with KPCS.
The requirements are stringent, and joining the Kimberley Process is voluntary. However, participants agree to comply with the scheme, and at least 69 countries have accepted this process. The United States of America adopted the process in April 2003. The Kimberley Process has reduced the trade in conflict diamonds dramatically in recent years and aims to eliminate the trade completely.
Overstock.com is committed to being a conflict-free diamond retailer. We purchase diamonds and diamond jewelry from legitimate suppliers, and we insist that our suppliers refuse to use conflict diamonds. We share our customers’ concerns that profits from the diamond trade have aided rebellions and caused suffering among local populations.
Progress is being made to eliminate the problem. Over 99 percent of the rough diamonds entering the supply chain today are mined and traded among countries adhering to KPCS and are conflict-free. As nature’s most precious stone, diamonds are a valuable natural resource and an asset to the regional economies where they are mined. The revenue derived from the legitimate trade in diamonds funds development projects in countries as diverse as Botswana, Australia, Namibia, Tanzania, and Russia. Overstock™ supports the legitimate role of the diamond trade in the world economy while maintaining our commitment to offering our customers the highest quality in exquisite diamond jewelry.
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