The Journal

The Diamond Industry is Taking These Steps to Knock out Blood Diamonds

Conflict diamonds, or Blood Diamonds as they are more commonly known, have been a problem in the diamond industry for some time.

The problem is only getting worse as other problems continue to rise in the industry, making it hard for jewelers to truly sell these precious stones without any doubts regarding their origins.

The Crisis With Blood Diamonds

Blood Diamonds are one of the industry's biggest problems. These diamonds were mined by people who were forced to work. The mines are sometimes taken over by militia or other military groups who end up using slave labor to fund some of their most atrocious military action. Sometimes, the labor is performed by children, which makes the problem even worse.

The diamond industry is not blind to other issues plaguing honest diamond companies and miners, such as fraudulent and falsified stones. These threaten the customer and the price of stones that many within the industry have worked so hard to maintain like De Beers and Fura Gems.

Steps the Industry has Taken to Deal With Problem Diamonds

There are a number of steps that the industry has taken to combat this problem, especially since today's diamond buyer is averse to buying jewels that were obtained through questionable means. The following are some steps that have been taken:

Using the Kimberley Process

The Kimberley Process is one of the most known steps taken to fight child labor and the conflict diamond. The agreement was reached by a group of countries to ensure all rough diamonds entered in trade are completely conflict-free. This process forces all those involved to adhere to extensive rules to earn the certification.

The issue is that this process cannot account for every step a rough diamond goes through, which is probably the reason why fraud is still a problem. The other problem is each country can set up its own rules, which can disrupt tracking. It should also be noted that some diamonds sold in the black market come with falsified certificates.

Lab Created Diamonds and Online Stones

The Kimberley Process does have its flaws. This is the reason the industry is taking other steps to help prevent blood diamonds, such as lab created diamonds. Scientists figured out the ingredients needed to make a diamond, such as carbon and pressure.

This information has been used to create diamonds without resorting to diamond mining. Many people are starting to buy these types of diamonds online with a few tips so they can avoid buying fraudulent stones. The steps taken online and the introduction of lab created diamonds may not stop the conflict diamond industry but it does reduce its demand.

The Blockchain Solution Rising

The newest move towards eradicating this problem from the diamond industry is blockchain technology. Large players within the industry like De Beers and Fura Gems are looking to this technology and how it can solve some of these problems. Everyone whose heard of blockchain technology probably associate this with cryptocurrencies but its decentralized ledge and ability to record transactions is exciting the diamond industry.

The idea is to use the technology to track a diamond from the mine through trading and market exchanges. Data on tracked diamonds cannot be altered by third parties with the help of incredibly sophisticated encryptions, restoring control over the market. The ability to track diamonds should give the consumer newfound trust in the industry and reduce Blood Diamonds, which have been responsible for a lot of heartache and bloodshed around the world.

The steps being taken by some of the mining companies along with other giants in the diamond industry to fight Blood Diamonds are commendable. Perhaps the most promising step is the one being taken with blockchains but that does not mean the other steps are not helpful. Perhaps a combination of all three is the best way to fight this practice and the harm it causes.