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Blood Diamonds: The Evil Underbelly Of The Diamond Industry

The evocative branding of a subterranean industry - subterranean in both the way that diamonds are physically mined, and in the criminal organizations that trade them - is the romanticizing of a business that is anything but romantic, one that frankly excavates death. Otherwise named ‘Conflict Diamonds’, Blood Diamonds are rocks that are collected, cut, and polished by organizations operating beyond the control of a government. Men, women, and children are forced to work as slaves for these illegal organizations, who proceed to sell the diamonds to finance, amongst other things, the trafficking of drugs, terrorism, guns, and prostitution. It often happens that professionally organized raids are made on shipments of diamonds that are being transported legally, before the diamonds are trafficked straight back into legal diamond trading without anyone questioning their legality.

The root of this problem certainly lies in criminal organizations that produce or steal these diamonds, but other criminal faculties play their part in facilitating them. In having dealings with these people, corrupt traders, diamond smugglers, and arms merchants allow the underground diamond trade to continue. The phrase ‘Blood Diamonds’ has been coined as an indication of the murder and torture, and other such means, that are found in this industry because of the vast sums of money that are involved.

In reaction to the illegal diamond trade the United Nations has sanctioned the ‘Kimberly Process’. The goal of the Kimberly Process is to reduce and ultimately stop the trafficking of blood diamonds into the legitimate diamond trade. For the Kimberly Process to work effectively, each nation that exports rough diamonds must certify their legality; that they were produced by recognized authorities. The main areas of concern are the African countries of Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone. A system of certification is employed to try to differentiate between conflict diamonds and legal ones. The certificates indicate where each diamond was produced and sold; so that in theory no diamond should be able to be mined or trafficked illegally. Individuals who intend to buy a diamond should be sure that a document of origin is provided with it.

Another necessity in ensuring that conflict diamonds do not mix with legal diamonds is that every single nation who is involved with the Kimberly Process must not interact with nations who are not involved with it. The Kimberly Process is seen to be working, and the number of blood diamonds that are being trafficked into legitimate diamond trade is lessening. Over seventy countries and organizations have committed to the Kimberly Process, leaving no more than a couple of non-participants. It is estimated that ninety-nine percent of the world’s diamonds are now legitimately produced and sold. This is a remarkable achievement considering the desire of the criminal organizations that contrive against the Kimberly Process.

However, it should make all consumers more aware when they decide to spend their precious earnings on a meaningful stone for their loved one. Try to buy certified jewels if you can, especially if the diamond is from an area known to have illegal operations. You can do your part to help the diamond industry be just and honest!

Submitted by:

Gabriel Adams

This info brought to you by your friendly boston jeweler, sellers of diamonds boston




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