Conflict Diamonds

Kimberley Process Certificate and rough diamonds 100% of De Beers' diamonds are certified conflict-free

De Beers plays an active role in the Kimberley Process which aims to eliminate conflict diamonds from the legitimate diamond supply chain.

The United Nations defines conflict diamonds as those “that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognised government, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments, or in contravention of the Security Council”.

In May 2000, diamond-producing states met in Kimberley, South Africa, to discuss ways to stop trade in conflict diamonds and ensure that diamond purchases were not funding violence. Since then, De Beers has been an active participant in the Kimberley Process, bringing together members of the diamond industry and working with them to ensure the Kimberley process is continuously strengthened.

Today, the Kimberley Process ensures that more than 99% of the global production of rough diamonds is certified to be from conflict free sources.

How the Kimberley Process works

The Kimberley Process, and its certification scheme, is an international government-led cross-sector initiative, which draws on the contribution of both the diamond industry and civil society.

States participating in the Kimberley Process have to meet minimum requirements through the enactment of national legislation and ensure relevant institutions meet certain standards and processes. This includes import and export institutions as well as internal controls. Member states must also commit to full and transparent exchange of statistical data.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme requires rough diamonds to be transported in sealed, tamper-free containers accompanied by forgery-resistant certificates.

Issued by the exporting country’s government, each certificate has a unique serial number. They are backed by a system of internal controls in the producing countries, as well as those countries that trade, cut and polish rough diamonds.

The System of Warranties

The System of Warranties is a business to business scheme that applies to both rough and polished diamonds. It requires companies to implement a system that ensures all invoices for the sale of diamonds, and jewellery containing diamonds, include a written assurance, ‘based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees,’ that the diamonds are conflict free. Records of all warranty invoices given and received must be kept and externally audited on an annual basis.

The Family of Companies was instrumental in developing the system of warranties through its work with the World Diamond Council.

“In southern Africa, diamonds are an engine for growth, employment and prosperity. The World Diamond Council believes that, in addition to combating the scourge of conflict diamonds, the Kimberley Process has helped to safeguard these benefits that are shared and enjoyed by thousands of people in communities across the region.”

Eli Izhakoff, Chairman of the World Diamond Council
A shipment arrives in tamper-resistant boxes at the DTC in London.