The Conflict Diamond, also known as the Blood Diamond, War Diamond, Hot Diamond or the Converted Diamond, refers to a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to fund an invading country’s war efforts usually in Africa where two-thirds of the world’s diamonds are removed. Primarily know to most as the “Blood Diamond”, the diamonds come from mines in countries including Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Some estimate that as much as 20% of the total production of diamonds in the 1980s was sold illegitimately. These diamonds were able to continue to be sold and bartered in order to finance war efforts. The Conflict or Blood Diamond also changed and ended many lives and oppressed so many more.
Conflict Diamonds are often produced through the mandatory work of men, women and even small children. They are also stolen during shipment or seized by attacking the mining operations of legitimate producers and sold illegitimately.
In May, 2000 the United Nations Security Council and the countries of southern Africa that were producing diamonds met in Kimberely, South Africa to devise a plan by which the trade or sale of Conflict Diamonds could be discontinued and people who purchased diamonds would be guaranteed that the diamonds they purchased in no way led or contributed to any form of violence.
This is how the Kimberely Process was developed and stated that nations who agreed to participate were not allowed to trade diamonds with countries who did not comply. Some believe this process has significantly reduced the amount of Conflict Diamonds reaching international gem markets. Today, 71 nations follow the Kimberely Process.
In July, 2000 the World Diamond Congress adopted a resolution to tighten the diamond industry’s capability to block the selling of any Conflict Diamonds. In order to enforce this resolution, there was a process that was produced in order to ensure that any diamond sales were legitimate and that countries were only accepting diamonds that were properly packaged, sealed or otherwise certified. When a country either exported or imported diamonds they could only accept packages that were sealed, to impose criminal charges on people trafficking Conflict Diamonds and established an injunction for any person trading Conflict Diamonds.
In July, 2001, the diamond industry formed a new organization called the World Diamond Council. The World Diamond Council estimates that approximately 99% of all diamonds are now free of conflict.