Blood diamonds are no different from any other diamond except that they are mined in a number of war-torn regions, usually in Africa under the most dreadful working conditions, and more often than not violating basic human rights. The people responsible sell these ‘blood diamonds’ to fund their illegal and unethical practices; often they are rebels attempting to overthrow their governments.
Anyone knowingly or unknowingly buying ‘blood diamonds’, is effectively funding such military operations which will include the bribery and coercion of officials, the acquisition of guns, ammunition and other necessities of war.
The Kimberley Process was introduced by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000 as a means of certifying the origin of rough diamonds from sources which are free of conflict.
All diamonds supplied by Marshall Jewelers have been through the Kimberley process and are certified by GIA or IGI. In order for GIA or IGI to certify a diamond they require proof from the cutters that the diamond has been through the Kimberley process.
Diamonds and the Community – Facts
- An estimated 5 million people have access to appropriate healthcare globally thanks to revenues from diamonds.
- Conflict diamonds have been reduced from approximately 4% to considerably less than 1% since the implementation of the Kimberley Process in 2000.
- Diamond revenues enable every child in Botswana to receive free education up to the age of 13.
- Diamonds account for 33% of the GDP (approximately $3.3 billion) of Botswana. Since independence in 1966, the year before diamonds were discovered in Botswana, GDP annual growth rate has averaged 7% per annum.
- The diamond mining industry generates over 40% of Namibia’s annual export earnings.
- The revenue from diamonds is instrumental in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa.
- Major world leaders – including Nelson Mandela – have cited the importance of diamonds to the lives of African people.