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The Story of Blood Diamonds

By Frank

Highly experienced diamond polisher who loves to share his knowledge with you. Continues to stun his colleagues with interesting - or simply bizarre - facts about diamonds and gems.

August 8, 2017

Despite many treaties, collaborations and other desperate attempts to ban them, blood diamonds still exist. For consumers, retailers, wholesalers, and producers, it is wise to stay as far away as possible from these diamonds. Blood diamonds are the “bad news diamonds” from Africa. Most of them are from Angola, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The sellers of these blood diamonds use the money to finance oppression, war and terror.

diamonds on dollar billsAlthough most people disapprove of blood diamonds, they don’t exactly know how to deal with it. After all, how can a consumer see or know the difference between a regular and a blood diamond? The only way to make sure you have a “clean” diamond is to purchase it from a trustworthy seller. Royal Coster Diamonds is one of these reliable sellers. We stay away from blood diamonds and only buy and sell conflict-free diamonds. However, we still like to inform you about blood diamonds.

What are blood diamonds?

Blood diamonds are the same as conflict diamonds. The name comes from the awful way these diamonds are obtained and what the sellers use its profit for. Conflict diamonds come from war areas. In these areas, dangerous groups operate against the established order. They force people to mine diamonds under scandalous work conditions. The poor miners are horribly mistreated and tortured.

man holding bloody diamondThe profit of blood diamonds

Blood diamonds are often sold via small, semi-legal organizations. Compared with “good” diamonds, these diamonds are sold at lower prices to make them attractive for certain buyers and sellers. The money these terrorist groups make with the sales of conflict diamonds is used to finance their criminal activities. These activities include the purchase of weapons, bribe money, slave trading or simply to become even richer. This dulls the sparkle of a diamond somewhat, don’t you think?

Actions against blood diamonds

In July 2000, the complete diamond industry introduced a “zero tolerance” policy against blood diamonds. This policy became an agreement in the so-called Kimberley Process Certification System. This was the first step towards a world without blood diamonds.

Away with blood diamonds!

In 2003, the EU and 46 other countries, the UN, various NGO’s and human rights organizations came together in Kimberley, South-Africa. In this meeting, all parties agreed upon some rules to prevent the sale and purchase of diamonds from conflict areas. Apart from these agreements, the diamond industry created another voluntary system of guarantees for diamonds. They hoped this system would convince consumers that their diamonds really are from conflict-free areas.

Conflict free diamonds area on a map with red pinWhere are good diamonds from?

Conflict-free diamonds are from Australia, Canada, Namibia, Russia, South-Africa, and Tanzania. These countries use the profits from diamond sales for their country in a good and responsible way. They invest in the infrastructure, better education, and building hospitals near the diamond mining areas. One of the requirements for a “good” diamond is that the country’s population benefits from the sales in some way.

1% is still too much

Thanks to all actions taken, we can safely say that 99% of the currently traded diamonds are not conflict diamonds. Yet, we still feel like that 1% blood diamonds is too much. That’s why the diamond industry, governments, the UN and various NGO’s are still actively trying to reduce this percentage. We won’t stop until blood diamonds are something from the past.

woman refusing diamond ringAm I still allowed to enjoy my diamonds?

Of course, you are! Diamonds are unique: they represent love, beauty and, happiness. Over the past years, the images of conflict diamonds have put a mark on all diamonds. Suddenly, we faced pictures of mutilated children, horrible conditions and terror groups showing off their weapons they bought with their diamond money. These images are painful to watch but also important. They caused the diamond industry and many other organizations to take action together against these crimes.

Never blood diamonds at Royal Coster

Naturally, at Royal Coster Diamonds we think it’s important that our diamonds are clean. We want to guarantee our customers of the best products after all. The Netherlands has, just like all other European Union countries, signed the Kimberley Act. In general, this means that all diamonds that are sold in “normal stores” in the EU are not blood diamonds. Although this is the best system so far, it is not completely foolproof. That is why our buyers track for each and every diamond where it originally comes from. This is how we can assure our clients that they will never receive a blood diamond. Every diamond from Royal Coster Diamonds is, therefore, conflict-free and ready to shine in the most beautiful jewelry.

boy proposing to his girlfriend with diamond ringLearn more about (blood) diamonds during a guided diamond tour or view a part of our diamond jewelry collection. Of course, you can see our complete collection of loose and set diamonds in our store. We’re located in the heart of Amsterdam and are open every day from 9:00 to 17:00 hour.

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