Are you wearing a diamond on your hand? Did you get a certificate of authenticity when you or your loved one purchased it? When you buy a diamond, you should always get a receipt for your purchase and you should get a certificate that the diamond was produced from legal channels.
There is a movie called Blood Diamond, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie addresses the true to life blood diamonds, also known as conflict diamonds. Blood diamonds are diamonds that are mined in Africa, specifically in Angola, Liberia, the Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone. The good thing about this movie is that it brings awareness to the atrocities that go on where these illicit diamonds are mined.
Nearly half of the workers who hunt for diamonds are children under the age of 16. The adults and children have no choice but to mine for diamonds. Blood diamonds do not create wealth for the poor people who are just trying to eek out a living. The workers get slave wages, about a dollar a day, if they get paid at all. Some may only get a cup of rice to eat. The workers, not much more than slaves, come to the diamond minds to work because there is no other place to work.
Blood diamond mines are run by unscrupulous people who will not think twice about cutting off their hands if they are caught trying to keep one of the diamonds they find. These diamonds are sold and traded to fund rebel forces. Blood diamonds fund terrorists; they pay for the weapons, and training of rebel forces to overthrow a system of government and to enslave the people there.
The people who labor each and every day from sunup to sundown are working in deplorable conditions. Disease is a constant threat; It’s bad enough that adults are forced into slave labor, but this is no way for children to have to live. They have hopes of a better life, but in truth there is no hope. Approximately 300,000 carats of diamonds are mined each year by slave labor, and then they are smuggled into the international markets through the black market.
It is said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Do you know where your diamonds came from? In 2000 in Kimberly, South Africa the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to track every diamond from the country of origin and to certify that each rough diamond came from legitimate sources and channels. Due to the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme 99 percent of the diamonds that enter the United States come from legitimate sources.
Every diamond that is sold in stores here in the United States is supposed to be authenticated by the Kimberly Process. It is reported that only 1 percent of diamonds are blood or conflict diamonds. Your diamond should come with a certificate to ensure that your diamond is conflict free. If you didn’t get a certificate how do you know that your diamond came from a legitimate source? There is no way of knowing if the ring you bought at your local department store is conflict free if it didn’t come with a certificate. Who is to say that if you do get a certificate that it isn’t a fake one? Conflict diamonds are big business. If they are willing to kill and torture people for monetary gain, wouldn’t it be just as likely that smugglers would have very authentic looking certificates to move their diamonds into the international markets? How does a retailer know for sure? It isn’t likely that retailers are going to go to Africa to question where and how their diamonds were processed.