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Courtesy of the UN |

On January 1, 2003 many countries around the world have 'Kimberley Process' established by world governments and the diamond industry to eradicate the trade in conflict diamonds. All the diamonds used in our engagement rings, earrings and jewelry are purchased form legitimate sources in compliance with the United Nations resolution.

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» World Diamond Council Endorses Historic Decision By Kimberley Process Chair
Source: World Diamond Council

The World Diamond Council welcomes the announcement by the Chair of the Kimberley Process that the Congo Republic (Congo-Brazzaville) has been expelled from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme based on the results of a visit by its team of experts to that country last month. While it is certainly regrettable that any country should have to be expelled, in the Council’s view this decisive step demonstrates that the KPCS process is robust and has teeth.

Eli Izhakoff, chairman and CEO of the WDC said, “A credible and effective KPCS is essential to the continued viability of the legitimate diamond trade and to the positive image and reputation of the product. These are core elements in the foundation of consumer confidence in diamonds as a symbol of love. The diamond industry fully supports the Chairman’s decision.”

The World Diamond Council believes that it is absolutely vital to the credibility the KPCS scheme that its tolerance standards be rigorous and systematically applied. In its report, the KPCS fact-finding mission stated that it found Congo was exporting diamonds at a rate approximately 100 times greater than its estimated production. Moreover, the report cited the inability of authorities to account for the massive discrepancy between the volume of exports on the one hand and of domestic production and imports on the other. Given the explicit evidence that large quantities of diamonds have moved from Brazzaville with KPCS certificates into the legitimate diamond trading stream, the conditions cited by KP Chair Tim Martin as justification for the decision to expel this the Congo Republic from the system are entirely justified.

Date: 2004-07-16 Time: 13:15:00

» World Diamond Council Convenes 3rd Annual Meeting: WDC Leadership in Kimberley Process: Action to Protect Consumers
Source: World Diamond Council

Dubai - The 3rd Annual Meeting of the World Diamond Council convened March 29-31, 2004 in Dubai – United Arab Emirates. The meeting, bringing together more than 100 leaders from the diamond and jewelry industry worldwide, governments and civil society, was organized under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and U.A.E Minister of Defense and was hosted by the Dubai Metals & Commodities Centre (DMCC).

In convening the gathering, WDC Chairman and CEO Eli Izhakoff set the tone for the two-day meeting by noting that through industry unity much has already been achieved, yet, at the same time, on many fronts much more work remains to be done.

Among the many key figures addressing the group, were Nicky Oppenheimer, Chairman of the De Beers Group; Tim Martin, Chairman of the Kimberley Process; Viatcheslav Shtyrov, President of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and Vice Chairman of the Kimberley Process; Abbey Chikane, immediate Past Chair of the Kimberley Process and officials from the US Department of Treasury.

One theme of the meeting was “achievements to date”. Speaker after speaker noted contributions of the WDC on the industry’s behalf in developing and assisting with the implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), fully operational in September 2003. At the same time discussion usefully pointed out further work to be completed by the KPCS and the continued importance of the WDC in that regard. While KPCS has helped to ensure that the trade in conflict diamonds has been curtailed, it is vital that control measures be refined and remain effective. Mr. Izhakoff praised the U.A.E for being the first Kimberley Process participant country to volunteer for a ‘peer review’ visit on internal control mechanisms.

“We applaud the UAE for taking the lead. As the first from the forty-seven participants of the Process, the UAE has set a trend for others to follow. We encourage such transparency and believe this step will accelerate Dubai towards establishing an internationally acclaimed diamond center of note,” stated Mr. Izhakoff.

Concerning the review visit, Mr. Tim Martin, Chairman of the Kimberley Process stated, “With the co-operation of DMCC and local authorities, the team, led by Dr. Florika Fink-Hooper of the European Commission, completed the review of the implementation of the Kimberley Process in the UAE. And the peer review system of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is off to a good start and thanks go to the UAE.”

WDC takes great exception to a report issued by Global Witness and completely and utterly rejects the representation of industry as unable to offer proper assurance to consumers. At the same time WDC acknowledges that there is more work to be done to ensure industry awareness at all levels of the trade. WDC also recognizes the continuing importance of greater transparency throughout the diamond trade in order to reduce vulnerability to external threats.

Mr. Martin said, “The diamond industry’s contribution through the World Diamond Council is an essential contribution to the implementation of the KPCS. “

WDC is the worldwide organization created by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers’ Association to organize and coordinate pan-industry efforts to stop the trade in conflict diamonds.

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Date: 2004-03-31 Time: 15:01:00

» Abbey Chikane Named WDC Director
Source: World Diamond Council

The World Diamond Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Abbey Chikane of South Africa as a director of the organization. Chikane joins fellow directors Sean Cohen, Eli Izhakoff, Peter Meeus, Sergey Oulin, Matt Runci and Shmuel Schnitzer.

Mr. Chikane most recently served as chair of the Kimberley Process during the period of South Africa’s leadership of that process. He is widely recognized as having skillfully guided the multilateral negotiations between governments, civil society, and industry leading up to the launch of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme earlier this year.

Mr. Chikane’s term as chair concluded at the recent plenary meeting in Sun City, South Africa where Canada assumed the reins of leadership of the KPCS in the year ahead. Mr. Chikane resides in his hometown of Johannesburg, where he is continuing to help reinvent the city that was built on gold.

Date: 2003-11-20 Time: 10:23:00

» WDC Guide To Kimberley Process Available Online
Source: World Diamond Council

As implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme moves forward, the World Diamond Council (WDC) has published The Essential Guide to Implementing the Kimberley Process, outlining steps that firms in the diamond industry must take to ensure implementation of the new system designed to eliminate the flow of conflict diamonds. The guide was produced for the WDC on behalf of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the International Diamond Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) by the J. Walter Thompson Agency.

The guide, intended for worldwide use by anyone who trades in rough or polished diamonds, is available for immediate download from the WDC website, In addition, the guide is being distributed to members of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, and CIBJO – The International Jewellery Confederation, by those organizations.

The guide outlines the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which was adopted in November 2002 by governments of all of the world’s diamond mining, manufacturing, importing and exporting nations. The guide also describes the diamond industry’s self-regulation through its voluntary System of Warranties, designed to strengthen the Kimberley Process agreement.

The guide contains step-by-step compliance checklists for companies throughout the diamond supply chain, to include mining companies and rough diamond buyers in source countries, rough diamond importers, exporters, manufacturers, and dealers, and polished diamond dealers, jewelry manufacturers, and diamond jewelry retailers.

In addition to the general requirements of the Kimberley Process, there are individual national laws and regulations that the guide does not address. Companies should therefore also consult with their national trade associations for guidance on complying with various national laws and regulations.

For jewelry retailers in the United States, detailed guidance on supporting the Kimberley Process system is available on the Jewelers of America website,

To access the new WDC guide, visit, and click on “K.P. Guide.” For those without access to the Internet, printed copies are available from the New York Diamond Dealers Club, the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, and Jewelers of America.

The World Diamond Council was founded in 2000 by the diamond and jewelry industry amid growing concern over human rights violations and atrocities committed against innocent victims in diamond producing countries of war-torn northern Africa. The goal of the WDC is to prevent the exploitation of diamonds for illicit purposes such as war and inhumane acts.

Date: 2003-11-02 Time: 13:11:00

» Diamond Industry and NGOs Hail Kimberley Process Breakthrough
Source: World Diamond Council

Sun City, South Africa – At the Kimberley Process Plenary meeting held at Sun City, South Africa on the 29th through 31st of October 2003, more than 70 countries, the NGO community, and the World Diamond Council (WDC), representing the international diamond industry, agreed unanimously to implement a voluntary “peer review” system to ensure the credibility of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. The World Diamond Council applauds this breakthrough, which will help secure the diamond industry's vital interests and strengthen consumer confidence.

At the Plenary, Canada was unanimously acclaimed as successor to South Africa at the helm of the Kimberley Process. In addition, the Russian Federation was selected as Vice-Chair, the first occupant of that position.

Mr. Eli Izhakoff, Chairman of the WDC, said, “We are delighted that Canada has agreed to take on the responsibility of leading the international community, with the active support of the NGOs and the whole diamond industry, in our collective determination to prevent funding of conflict, and to protect both the diamond trade and consumers. We also welcome Russia’s selection as Vice-Chair, which will provide continuity for the future.

“The WDC would like to take this opportunity to salute the tremendous work done by South Africa in first initiating and then chairing the Kimberley Process during its critical formative stages with such commitment and skill, and Mr. Abbey Chikane, in particular, for his patience, vision and diplomatic prowess. The diamond industry looks forward, under the guidance of Canada, to continuing the excellent progress made to date.”

Date: 2003-10-30 Time: 17:19:00

» Statement From The World Diamond Council
Source: World Diamond Council

NEW YORK – The World Diamond Council, as representative of the diamond and jewelry industries worldwide, strongly urges the governments of all nations participating in the Kimberley Process to adopt credible and effective measures for peer review when they convene for the next Plenary of the KP in Sun City, South Africa, October 29-31. The WDC will participate in the upcoming session in its official capacity as KP observer.

Eli Izhakoff, chairman and CEO of the WDC, said, “It is absolutely vital that a peer review regime be devised that insures the public and consumers alike that the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for cross border trade in rough diamonds is working precisely as its framers originally intended in order to stop the trade in conflict diamonds. Effective peer review is critical to the credibility of the system because monitoring of government controls on cross-border trade will verify compliance with KPCS measures. This credibility is essential if we are to safeguard against conflict diamonds and if the reputation of diamonds as a consumer good is to be protected.”

Resources already available to the Chair to conduct reviews should be brought to bear progressively on those situations where indications of non-compliance warrant closer examination. Recourse to scrutiny, including review missions, in situations where there are credible indications of serious non-compliance, must be available and be applied as frequently as circumstances warrant.

WDC concurs that essential elements in an effective peer review mechanism should include a range of measures, including a standard formulation of annual reporting by Participants, systematic coordinated analysis of all information submitted by Participants, requests for additional information and clarification, and the dispatch of review missions where there are credible indications of significant non-compliance with the certification scheme by a given Participant. Review of KPCS implementation by all Participants must be conducted in full accordance with national law, on an equal and non-discriminatory basis and, with particular emphasis on those cases where there are such indications.

In addition, KPCS should address capacity building among Participants for purposes of improving systems for implementing KPCS, indicating areas where technical assistance may be needed, and making possible early appraisals of new Participants. System wide, then, this process will permit the KPCS to improve though the adoption of “best practice” compliance techniques developed during the cumulative course of many reviews.

Date: 2003-10-21 Time: 13:34:00

» Passage Of Clean Diamond Legislation Hailed By Spokesmen For Industry In U.S. And Abroad
Source: World Diamond Council

NEW YORK – Representatives of the diamond and jewelry industries greeted House approval of the Clean Diamond Trade Act yesterday as a crucial advance in the international campaign to eliminate the immoral traffic in conflict diamonds. They urged prompt enactment of the bill and pledged the industry’s full cooperation in helping to implement the control system now being put in place.

In a joint statement, Eli Izhakoff, chairman of the World Diamond Council (WDC), and Matthew Runci, executive director of the WDC and president/CEO of Jewelers of America (JA), said:

“Passage of HR 1584 with overwhelming bipartisan support vindicates the efforts of many interested parties – in government, humanitarian organizations and industry – who have worked hard to rid the world of conflict diamonds. We look forward to prompt approval by the Senate and President Bush so that the United States can be a full partner in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

“All nations that participate to any appreciable degree in the diamond trade, with industry’s cooperation, agreed last November on the Kimberley Process rules. They are designed to protect the legitimate supply chain from the threat of exploitation by violent criminals who have used diamonds as a means of financing senseless combat in parts of Africa. As the world’s largest importer of diamonds, the U.S. has a particularly critical role to play in enforcing the new system.

“While the success of the Kimberley Process will depend heavily on sound government enforcement, the industry also has a significant part going forward. Working primarily through the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), the World Diamond Council has created a regimen of self-regulation to supplement government measures. We understand that this imposes a significant responsibility not only on these and other organizations, but also on their constituents worldwide. We are committed to meeting this responsibility on a permanent basis.”

Date: 2003-09-04 Time: 09:00:00

» U.S. Regulations Backing Kimberley Process To Be In Place By End Of July
Source: World Diamond Council

NEW YORK – The World Diamond Council, in a continuing effort to implement the Kimberley Process in the United States, announced today that U.S. regulations are expected to be fully in place by the end of July in compliance with deadlines set at the April meeting of the Kimberley Process.

“We welcome full implementation of the Kimberley Process system in the United States,” said Eli Izhakoff, Chairman and CEO of the World Diamond Council. “Given the importance of the U.S. market to the diamond industry, full compliance with international agreements to protect the legitimate trade from conflict diamonds is imperative.”

Jay Bruns, the U.S. State Department’s Special Negotiator for Conflict Diamonds, has provided the WDC with updated information regarding U.S. regulations that will change U.S. Customs procedures. From the date the rules go into effect, rough diamonds will no longer be permitted entry into the United States unless they are accompanied by an authentic Kimberley Process certificate from the originating country. The certificates state that the diamonds are handled in compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, and with United Nations resolutions preventing the trade in conflict diamonds.

The federal rules further require that rough diamonds exported from the United States be accompanied by a U.S. Kimberley Process certificate, issued through the U.S. Kimberley Process Authority (USKPA). The rules will require each certificate be assigned a unique number by the Automated Export System of the U.S. Census Bureau.

The USKPA is an industry-based entity that licenses shipping and diamond companies to issue K.P. certificates for use with exports of rough diamonds from the United States. Strict procedures for issuing and tracking K.P. certificates are required by the USKPA. Periodic audits are conducted by the USKPA to assure the integrity of the system. The directors of the USKPA are Matthew Runci of Jewelers of America, Martin Hochbaum of the Diamond Dealers Club of New York, and Cecilia Gardner of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

Supplementing the legal obligations provided by the new federal rules, the U.S. industry has agreed to participate in a voluntary international program of self-regulation by providing warranties for all diamonds. These warranties, provided by suppliers of rough and polished diamonds as well as suppliers of jewelry containing diamonds, state that the diamonds have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations resolutions. The warranties serve as an assurance that the diamonds sold are conflict free. This warranty can then be passed through all levels of the trade, down to consumers, who can be assured by retailers that the diamonds they buy have not been used to fund conflict.

“Vital to the success of the voluntary system of warranties is the initiative of retail jewelers in consistently securing from their diamond and diamond jewelry suppliers the appropriate warranty language either on invoices accompanying shipments or in legally binding contractual agreements with those vendors,” said Matthew Runci, President/CEO of JA and Executive Director of the WDC. “Accordingly, JA today announced that it is enlisting the active support of all state jewelry associations in its continuing effort to secure utilization of the system of warranties by all JA member jewelers. State associations that secure written commitments from all of their members to utilize the warranties will receive special supplementary subsidies for education programs at their events.”

Recommended guidance and information materials for retail jewelers, including sample language for use with vendors, may be downloaded from the JA website,

WDC has made available a guide booklet for compliance with the Kimberley Process certification system. The booklet is available from the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, the Diamond Dealers Club of New York, the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America, the American Gem Society, Jewelers of America, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, and CIBJO (the International Jewellery Confederation). It can also be downloaded from, and

Date: 2003-07-28 Time: 14:15:00

» Industry Welcomes Signing Of Clean Diamond Bill And Urges Strong Enforcement Of Kimberley Process
Source: World Diamond Council

NEW YORK – President Bush’s signing of the Clean Diamond Trade Act is a major milestone in the campaign to eliminate conflict diamonds from the global supply chain, industry spokesmen said today. They pointed out that the international certification system that the United States has now joined requires strong enforcement and ongoing review to fulfill its goals.

In a joint statement, Eli Izhakoff, chairman of the World Diamond Council (WDC), and Matthew Runci, executive director of WDC and president/CEO of Jewelers of America (JA), said:

Enactment of the Clean Diamond Trade Act makes the U.S. a full participant in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), and this participation is critical to the system’s success in excluding conflict diamonds from the legitimate supply chain. The industry is proud to have played an active role in the progress achieved so far.

Now the international community has the task of building on the strong foundation represented by KPCS. Participating governments will have that opportunity when they meet in Johannesburg starting April 28. This plenary session will consider proposals for standardizing the compilation and analysis of government trade statistics and for monitoring enforcement of the certification scheme going forward. This is essentially the responsibility of governments of all the nations involved in extracting, processing, exporting and importing of rough diamonds.

Industry supports these deliberations. We will work for the creation of a practical and effective statistics regime and a credible and effective monitoring system. In industry’s view, these tasks are particularly important in the context of producing countries, where in some instances effective control measures and reliable statistics will require technical assistance and support from outside sources.

As a supplement to the government-enforced certification program, the industry has established a system of warranties under which dealers purchase stones only from sellers who attest to the merchandise’s legitimacy. The WDC, JA and other industry trade groups have been informing their constituents worldwide of the importance of their adhering to the warranty program for the purpose of supporting the KPCS. We have also been informing these constituents – in detail – of their responsibilities in complying with the KPCS for cross-border trade in rough diamonds and implementing the warranty program. These efforts will continue.

To underpin the voluntary system of warranties, individual members of the international diamond industry and trade are to instruct their independent auditors to verify that records of warranties are being created and maintained, in the normal course of business, in full compliance with the KPCS. This certification should be subject to government verification and we urge governments to perform that function.

The campaign to eliminate conflict diamonds owes its progress to cooperation among the United Nations, officials of many governments, the industry, and humanitarian organizations that have been active in this cause. We hope that this cooperative effort will endure as the effort enters its next phase.

Date: 2003-04-25 Time: 16:30:00

» WDC Welcomes UN Recognition Of Industry Program To Curb Conflict Diamonds
Source: World Diamond Council

NEW YORK – The World Diamond Council today welcomed the UN Security Council's endorsement of the industry's voluntary self-regulation program to stop trade in conflict diamonds and pledged its continuing commitment to carry out the Kimberley Process.

The Security Council resolution, adopted on Jan. 28, expressed strong support for the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, an international agreement aimed at eradicating conflict diamonds by tracking them from their point of origin. More than 30 governments of diamond producing and processing countries, the European Union, and representatives of industry and civil society participated in creation of the Kimberley program, which went into effect on Jan. 1.

"We in the industry are firmly committed to the Kimberley Process and to our specific role, which is to ensure that the diamonds we handle come from legitimate sources," said Eli Izhakoff, chairman and CEO of the World Diamond Council. "We appreciate the Security Council's endorsement and are fully dedicated to assuming the responsibility that conveys.

"We also urge the participating governments to act quickly to put in place the laws and regulations necessary to carry out the Kimberley Process, so action can begin immediately to end the scourge of conflict diamonds."

The Security Council said it "strongly supports" the Kimberley scheme and the ongoing process to refine and implement it "as a valuable contribution against trafficking in conflict diamonds."

It also specifically welcomed the "voluntary system of industry self-regulation." Under this key component of the program, the industry created warranties that follow consignments of diamonds throughout the journey that ultimately brings them to retail stores. Each time diamonds change hands, the seller must attest to their legitimacy by means of a warranty. The document’s content was agreed to by the International Diamond Manufacturers Association and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses. It says:

The diamonds herein invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations Resolutions. The seller hereby guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier of these diamonds.

"We have been involved in the creation of the Kimberley agreement since the very beginning," Izhakoff said. "It has taken unprecedented global cooperation to bring it to fruition and we are proud to have been part of that effort.

"But we also know that the Kimberley Process is not a perfect program and that it may require refinement as implementation goes forward. Our commitment is solid, and we will continue to work with our colleagues from around the world to ensure its success."

Date: 2003-01-31 Time: 08:45:00