Diamonds are a timeless testament to love, a symbol of eternity in a fleeting world. Available at any high-end jewelry store, they are among the most valuable tangible items in the world. That extraordinary worth has made them fuel for conflicts around the globe. In resource-rich places, especially Africa, rough diamonds have been used to fund violent rebel movements, oppressive regimes, and other horrors. These conflict diamonds, or “blood diamonds” as they are sometimes called, make their way to jewelers around the world where they are indistinguishable for responsibly sourced stones. Fortunately, the global community has developed a certification process that conscious consumers can use to be sure they’re buying diamonds that haven’t been sold to fund violence.
In 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for the creation of a diamond certification system. After two years of negotiations, the final plan was unveiled in Kimberly, South Africa, home to one of the world’s largest diamond mines. The resulting product was the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme or Kimberly Process. The Kimberly Process requires member nations to impose strict minimum standards within their borders to ensure that only conflict-free diamonds make their way into the legitimate trade. Every shipment of rough diamonds to a diamond dealer must carry a Kimberly Process certificate that traces the provenance of the stones. In addition, Kimberly Process members can only trade with one another and must participate in a transparent exchange of statistical data. All of this helps the ultimate consumers make their purchase at the jewelry store with confidence.
Whether they choose an engagement ring, a pair of earrings, or a beautiful diamond necklace, customers who purchase Kimberly Process certified diamonds from Lewis Jewelers go home knowing they did the right thing.