Country of Origin Diamonds (Conflict Free Diamonds)
What is a 'Country of Origin Diamond'?
The world became aware of conflict diamonds in 1998, with rebel movements in Africa selling illegally obtained diamonds, known as conflict diamonds, to fund their wars against legitimate and internationally recognised governments.
In May 2000 the South African government convened a meeting in Kimberley for interested parties to discuss prevention of such a trade, after 'Global Witness' (a non-governmental organization - NGO) brought the issue of conflict diamonds to the world's attention.
This meeting became known as The Kimberley Process.
By December 2000 all 191 members of the United Nations General Assembly voted unanimously to support the process and by 2002, the final draft of The Kimberley Process was ratified by more than fifty nations.
January 1st 2003 saw the Kimberley Process certification scheme become a legitimate international document for all diamond purchases.
On April 25th 2003 the American government passed into law, The Clean Diamond Trade Act
So how does The Kimberley Process work?
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme requires that each shipment of rough diamonds being exported and crossing an international border, be transported in a tamper-resistant container and accompanied by a government validated Kimberley Process Certificate. Each certificate should be resistant to forgery, uniquely numbered and include data describing the shipments contents.
The shipments can only be imported to a co-participant country in the Kimberley Process. No uncertified shipments of rough diamond will be permitted to enter a participant country. Once a certified shipment has entered its country of destination, it may be traded in whole or part, and mixed with other parcels of rough diamonds, as long as all subsequent transactions are accompanied by the necessary warranties.
To strengthen the credibility of the Kimberley Process Agreement, and to provide a means by which consumers can be assured of the origin of their diamonds, buyers and sellers of both rough and polished diamonds, must make the following statement on all invoices:
"The diamonds herein invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations resolutions. The seller hereby guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the buyer of these diamonds."