Over 90 Congressmen have signed on to Rep. Tony Hall’s “Clean Diamond Act,” which says that only countries that have the proper rough diamond controls can import diamonds into the U.S. The World Diamond Council has a very similar proposal, which it’s also trying to introduce as a bill. Eventually, they hope to merge the two bills into one.
Although we hate some of the sensational news coverage of the “conflict” issue, we deplore “conflict diamonds” even more and any role they have played in the wars in Africa. (It should be stressed, however, that these stones make up only four percent of the overall trade.) As members of the Diamond Dealers Club and other jewelry organizations, we make every effort to make sure the diamonds we sell are “conflict-free.”
However, we feel that any measures against conflict diamonds must be targeted towards rough dealers. It is they who buy the stones from these people. Wholesale polished diamond dealers and retail jewelers are not part of this business. By the time the diamonds get to them, they have already passed through several hands. And it’s impossible to tell where a polished diamond is from. So protesters who hold placards outside retailers are aiming at the wrong target. We need to go after the few dealers who buy these “bloody” stones — not the entire industry.