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The Top 10 Mistakes Made When Purchasing a Diamond.

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Although diamonds have been around for Millions and Millions of years, how they are brought to us is a different story. What brings so much joy and beauty to so many lives can also bring so much pain and suffering to just as many.

What is a Conflict Diamond?

The term "conflict diamond" refers to diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces that are against the legitimate and internationally recognized government regulations, and are used to fund military action. In short, the diamonds are mined and used to fund wars against the governments. The UN General Assembly recognized that conflict diamonds are a crucial factor in prolonging brutal wars in parts of Africa, and that legitimate diamonds contribute to prosperity and development elsewhere on the continent. In Angola and Sierra Leone, conflict diamonds continue to fund the rebel groups.
"Diamonds are forever" it is often said. But lives are not. We must spare people the ordeal of war, mutilations and death for the sake of conflict diamonds."
Martin Chungong Ayafor, Chairman of the Sierra Leone Panel of Experts

How do I Know My Diamond is Not a Conflict Diamond?

Certification or "Country of Origin" documentation can play a big part on where your diamond comes from. Government controlled mining is the most legitimate way to know where you diamond is originated.

Rough diamond caches have often been used by rebel forces to finance arms purchases and other illegal activities. Neighboring and other countries can be used as trading and transit grounds for illicit diamonds. Once diamonds are brought to market, their origin is difficult to trace and once polished, they can no longer be identified.

The Kimberley Process

The Kimberley Process was initiated by South Africa in May 2000 to develop an international certification scheme for rough diamonds in order to help prevent conflict diamonds from entering legitimate markets.

Canada has been a leader in the process to control the conflict diamond trade. It has supported the United Nations in this initiative and, in June 2002, in Kananaskis, Alberta, this country and other G8 leaders pledged support for an international effort. Canada has now passed legislation to control the import, export and transit of rough diamonds in Canada.

Today 71 governments have enshrined into their national law the Kimberley Process Certification System, and now, more than 99% of the world's diamonds are from conflict-free sources. However, even one conflict diamond is one too many. The diamond industry continues to work with governments, NGOs and the UN to strengthen the Kimberley Process and the System of Warranties.

There are several organizations you can make personal donations to, in an effort to help the people of Africa. A few of the site are as follows:

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