Purple Label - by Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design

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Conflict Diamonds

We have always been very passionate about using ethical and conflict free stones and can provide the following assurances that our diamonds are conflict free.

Our diamond dealers have provided us with the following assurances:

Can you explain to me what conflict diamonds actually are?

Diamonds are mined in parts of Africa, Canada, Russia and Australia. Conflict diamonds, also referred to as "blood diamonds" or "war diamonds", are diamonds that originate from areas which were controlled by forces or factions, and also corrupt governments, responsible for fuelling conflict and wars. Small scale diamond mining was exploited and these diamonds were often used to fund military action by the forces.

I have been told that the UK is part of the Kimberley Process, can you explain to me what this is?

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was created by the United Nations in 2002. The scheme was designed to prevent conflict diamonds from entering legitimate jewellery supply chains. Around 47 countries now adhere to the Kimberley Process including all member countries of the European Union.

In order to participate in the scheme countries must ensure that every diamond export be accompanied by a Kimberley Process certificate proving that any diamond originating from the country does not finance a rebel group or other faction seeking to overthrow a UN-recognized government. The country must also ensure that no diamonds are imported to or exported from a country or state that is not a member of the Kimberly Process scheme.

Under the Kimberley Process, any country which is part of the scheme must ensure that any diamond mining is strictly supervised and that diamonds in their rough and uncut and polished state can only be transferred between participating countries in tamper-proof containers and with proper documentation.

I have also been told there the Kimberley Process is not fully secure, can you give me any other assurances?

The Kimberley Process does cover 99.8% of all the world's diamond trade so it is highly unlikely that any new diamond jewellery bought will contain conflict diamonds. However, we are founding members of the "Council of Responsible Jewellery Practices" so we can now guarantee that our stones are conflict free. We also source our own stones and know exactly where our stones come from so we can be sure that our stones are conflict free - unlike many other jewellers. As a company we have written procedures in place to make sure we only buy diamonds from suppliers who give us a warranty on their invoices that they don't buy conflict diamonds. We can provide a copy of our procedures if you would like to see them.

I'm passionate about conflict diamonds and ethical stones and so I am refusing to purchase diamond jewellery.

It is important for us to mention that the situations are now very much under control and that refusing to buy diamonds that have been mined in Africa will not solve the problem and could actually be harmful to those communities who rely on the diamond trade to survive; it provides much needed jobs, infrastructure and facilities. These communities are only now starting to rebuild themselves and if you are passionate about this then we all need to do all we can to support them.

There is more information about conflict diamonds on our sister site www.hkjewellery.co.uk. Click here to visit that section.