June 30th, 2007

Modern Jeweler: Product and Trends for Jewelry Retailers – Diamonds Beyond Conflict

Modern Jeweler June 2007 There’s an article in this month’s Modern Jeweler called Diamonds Beyond Conflict that’s worth reading if you’re following this topic:

A comprehensive presentation on the “Blood Diamond” movie, by the Diamond Promotion Service’s Carson Glover and Nancy Orem Lyman, set the tone for much of the meeting to follow: a merging of the industry’s historical responsibilities in Africa and the proactive measures it has taken and must continue to take, both to resolve the issues and to educate the public on their full realities. WDC chairman Eli Izhakoff noted that, rather than harm the industry, the movie “gave us a wonderful opportunity to tell consumers about the great strides we’ve taken toward eliminating the trade in conflict stones.”

Conflict diamonds are now at less than half a percent, by value, of world trade. That figure was agreed to even by industry watchdog, Global Witness’s Alex Yearsley, cited by Izhakoff variously as a “partner” or as “the conscience” of the diamond industry. Yearsley did note, however, that certain productions of the Congo and DRC, while “not, technically, conflict stones, are nonetheless tainted by affiliation with, or controlled by, rebel groups.” He also cited half a dozen countries, including Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and the Central African Republic, as potential hot-button zones where the industry “would do well to arm itself” against future taint.

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