What is the Kimberley Process?

May 23rd 2023

What is the Kimberley Process?

When you think of diamonds, you probably think of the beautiful, polished versions that are placed in engagement ring settings at your local jewelry store. But do you ever think about a diamond’s journey before it gets to that point? Some gems have actually been linked to violent conflicts throughout history. And thanks to something called the Kimberley Process, most diamonds are now conflict-free. We’re going to tell you all about it, so get ready to learn more.

What are Conflict Diamonds?

Sometimes known as “blood diamonds,” these are natural diamonds that formed billions of years ago beneath the Earth’s surface. As the name suggests, rebel groups across the globe often used them to fund wars against their governments.

According to the Kimberley Process website, these diamonds were known to be partial funding sources for conflicts in multiple African countries, such as Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And while conflict diamonds still exist, they now make up less than 1% of the world’s diamond production, specifically in Côte d'Ivoire.

What is the Kimberley Process?

The Kimberley Process is an international effort to remove all conflict diamonds from circulating within the jewelry market. The initial group formed in 2003 and was named after the South African city, where diamond-manufacturing states gathered to devise a plan for eliminating these stones.

Now, more than 80 countries eligible to trade rough diamonds have joined forces, including the entire European Union. And so far, they have been successful at stopping the production, import and export of almost all conflict diamonds.

So, how does the Kimberley Process work? Any country can participate, as long as it’s willing to follow the group’s rules. For example, countries can only trade gems with fellow Kimberley Process participants who are also following transparent procedures. And when rough diamonds are exported internationally, they are required to have a Kimberley Process certificate, indicating that they’re free of conflicts.

Is Your Diamond Conflict-Free?

How can you guarantee that a diamond you’re eyeing wasn’t connected with rebel groups? More than 99% of diamonds on the market today are conflict-free, so you likely don’t have to worry. But if you’d like some reassurance, make sure you’re buying through a trusted jeweler, like Gage Diamonds. The Kimberley Process doesn’t approve individual retailers. However, reliable companies should only be working with diamond suppliers that can ensure ethical stones. If you have questions, simply ask your jeweler!

Have a question? We can help!

Gage Diamonds is Chicago's premier jewelry showroom and online retailer of engagement rings, wedding bands, and fine jewelry. We offer a selection of conflict-free, handpicked diamonds, including certified natural and lab grown diamonds.

We’re committed to helping you find the ring of your dreams. For inspiration, browse our website or set up an appointment with a member of our trusted staff at our in-person showroom.

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