Conflict Free Diamonds
Our Diamond Sourcing Policy
You, as a customer, can be confident that concrete and comprehensive measures are being taken to ensure the products we sell do not include Conflict Diamonds.
The source of our diamonds is something that we take very seriously.
In African countries where rebel forces sometimes have control of diamond mines, proceeds from the sales of rough diamonds produced from those mines are often used to finance weapons purchases. Such diamonds are estimated to currently account for less than 1% of the world diamond production.
We are appalled by the violence in countries where proceeds from the sale of diamonds and other natural resources (e.g., oil, timber) are being used to fund rebel activities.
All nations with significant involvement in the diamond trade agreed on a global certification system to control the export and import of rough diamonds mined from January 1, 2003. This system is aimed at preventing criminals from introducing contraband diamonds mined in African combat zones into the legitimate supply chain. Since 2003, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), supported by national and international legislation, has sought to certify the legitimate origin of uncut diamonds.
We welcomed this important development and are actively supporting the system designed to safeguard our products’ integrity.
Role of Governments
As of November 2007, 74 countries had adopted the KPCS. It requires that each shipment of rough diamonds – before stones are cut and polished – be in a tamper-resistant container and accompanied by a government-validated certificate. Each certificate is uniquely numbered and contains data describing the shipment’s contents.
Participating countries have pledged to turn back or impound shipments of rough diamonds from any nation that fails to subscribe to the KPCS standards. Shipments lacking proper certification will be treated in a similar way.
The KPCS is designed so that rough diamonds are packaged with a certificate of origin soon after they are mined. At later stages of the diamonds’ journey to market, rough diamonds also carry a certificate describing the shipment’s contents and confirming that the stones are coming from a Kimberley Process participant. Any country declining to participate is effectively barred from the international diamond trade. Learn more at www.kimberleyprocess.com.
Role of Industry
To supplement the government program, the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) – representing virtually all significant processors and traders – have established a regimen of self-regulation. Its principal element is a system of warranties that will accompany invoices covering the sale of rough diamonds, polished diamonds and diamond jewelry. The requirement applies to rough diamonds mined after December 31, 2002 and products fabricated from them.
Participants in the KPCS must have internal controls to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the supply chain of legitimate diamonds and must carry out annual audit compliance. Furthermore, participants only trade with counterparts who themselves have met the minimum requirements of the certification system.
Role of the Retailer
This page outlines the steps we and the industry have been taking to address conflict diamonds.
All of the diamonds we buy are warranted to be sourced from KPCS compliant countries. Retailers who support the Kimberley Process must buy diamonds and diamond jewelry from dealers and manufacturers who adhere to the System of Warranties. We follow this policy. All diamonds and diamond jewelry merchandise that we buy that is derived from rough diamonds must be accompanied by a warranty from the supplier. This warranty assures us that the supplier vouches for the legitimacy of the merchandise and that the supplier, in turn, has required the same warranty from their sources of merchandise.
Our Source of Diamonds
We comply with the Kimberley Process and require all our trade suppliers of diamonds and diamond jewelry to provide us with a warranty that they do not supply us with conflict diamonds
The warranty is as follows:
“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 supplier of these diamonds.”
KPCS certificates for rough diamonds and warranties for polished diamonds received from suppliers are kept at our central office. Compliance with KPCS regulations, the World Diamond Council, the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association, and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses is reviewed annually by our company’s internal audit department. The results are reported to the Corporation’s Audit Committee.
we understand that our customers care where their diamonds come from and we share that concern with you. Every diamond we sell is certified conflict-free, assuring you that our inventory was procured through legal sources. In compliance with the Patriot Act, the Kimberley Process, and various United Nations resolutions, the diamonds we sell have been obtained using legitimate means. Further, our internal guidelines exceed government requirements: we have binding contracts with our suppliers, which guarantee that the diamonds they offer to us for sale are conflict-free. We do not purchase polished diamonds from sources, which are not members of the professional diamond trade.
Conflict-free diamonds are those gems, which were not obtained in association with human rights abuses, child labour, violence, or environmental degradation. Although the United Nation’s Kimberley Process only covers diamonds under the control of legitimate and recognized governments, conflict-free goes one step further by rejecting diamonds from governments that trade in diamonds to bankroll their conflicts. Throughout the 1990s, most of the world’s diamonds came from Africa, particularly regions undergoing civil unrest. Rebel armies in parts of Africa were exploiting alluvial diamond fields to fund their wars against established governments, putting people and the environment in the middle of their conflicts. Alluvial diamonds are found just inches to a few feet below the surface, making them easier to mine, but having an adverse impact on the environment. The people working these fields were often very young and subject to exploitation, with some losing their lives or becoming permanently maimed as wars raged around them. Hence, the term blood diamonds came into being to describe these types of gems.
You can be confident that concrete and comprehensive measures are being taken to ensure the products we sell do not include conflict diamonds.