The cover-up

A bogus system of warranties

The World Diamond Council (WDC) was established to represent all sectors of the diamond industry, from mine to market, in the Kimberley Process (KP). According to the WDC website “it was the industry that provided the blueprint for the certification system.”

As the KP only regulates the trade in rough diamonds, the WDC introduced a System of Warranties (SOW) that purports to extend the remit of the KP to cut and polished diamonds. It does this by the simple inclusion of a statement on invoices indicating that the seller believes the diamonds are conflict-free.

Although this does not change the KP in any way, jewellers use the SOW to claim KP-compliant diamonds “conflict-free” even though a significant percentage of these diamonds fund regimes guilty of serious human rights violations.

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Compounding the cover-up the World Diamond Council created a website called Diamond Facts which paints a very one-sided and utterly misleading picture of the diamond industry. Keeping the focus on “conflict diamonds” it fails to mention that other blood diamonds remain fully legal.

Extolling the social benefits certain African countries derive from diamond revenue, the Diamond Facts site fails to mention that rich western countries gain most from the diamond industry, particularly Israel, the single biggest net beneficiary of the global diamond trade. (more…)

(Ir)Responsible Jewellery Council

The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) was set up by leading companies and organisations in the diamond and jewellery industry to create their own standards and certification system.

However, the RJC Codes Of Practices employs the Kimberley Process (KP) and WDC’s  bogus System of Warranties (SOW) as the benchmark for ethical diamonds.

As long as a company can demonstrate their diamonds are in compliance with the KP and the SOW, RJC auditors will grant accreditation even if the diamonds have funded grievous human rights violations by government forces.  

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