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The Conflict with Diamonds

Back in the year 2000, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution on the role of diamonds in fuelling conflict. In taking up this agenda item, the General Assembly formally recognized that the illicit diamond trade plays a significant role in armed conflict, especially in the case of Sierra Leone.

Conflict diamonds are diamonds that are sold to fund the activities of rebel, military, and terrorist groups. The countries most affected by the illegal diamond trade are Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These are all places where citizens have been terrorized, mutilated, and killed by groups in control of the local diamond trade.

"The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme" is an international effort to rid the world of conflict diamonds. The goals of the process are to document and track all rough diamonds entering a country, while ensuring that shippers transport their diamonds in tamper-proof containers and provide proper documentation to ensure that the diamonds in question do not originate in conflict zones.

The Canadian government has also made some advances in identifying diamonds originating in its mines. "The Voluntary Code of Conduct for Authenticating Canadian Diamond Claims" is a program that aims to identify and document Canadian diamonds. The program is voluntary, but serves as a viable model for the governments of other nations to emulate.

As a consumer, you can do your part to ensure that you are not supporting regimes that terrorize their citizens. You can demand that your jewelry retailer provide you with documentation regarding the origins of the diamond in question. If the diamond originates from a questionable source, shop elsewhere. That very simple act can send a very powerful message!

How would your wife-to-be feel knowing that the diamond in the engagement ring you gave her originated in a war-torn nation? How would she react to the prospect of people having suffered immensely over the diamonds in her ring? My guess is that she would not be very happy to know that the thing that brings her so much joy brought so many others so much sorrow. Change begins with you. Follow your heart when buying diamonds for the ones you love.

About the Author: Raquel Montague has a keen interest in diamonds and diamond jewelry. She is also a very conscientious shopper. When she finds herself with some free time, Raquel enjoys writing for a number of websites including a website dedicated to diamonds, with information about loose diamonds, gemstone necklaces, blue sapphires and more.

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