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AUSTRALIA leads the way with Kimberley Process

“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.”


what do these words mean in practice?


We were very excited to note that Australian customs has developed and are enforcing a new procedure, whereby goods entering the country must have the WDC and KP statement attached to the invoice, and WILL NOT approve for entry goods without this statement. TO WHICH WE SAY........ HOORAY!!!

I am so proud that our government, by enforcing at customs entry, has got behind the KP and WDC recommendations. We have been advocating this since the commencement of our business in 2005, that all jewellers and retailers should act responsibly and ensure that their diamond goods are at the very least guaranteed conflict free.

The system of warranties is by no means perfect, as noted by several authors throughout the industry recently, but it is an important step in the right direction for the industry. AWARENESS AND THEN ACTION. Small steps.

Yes there are other important social considerations about the gem supply chain and trade, for which thanks to many advocacy groups, there is a strong and growing awareness and consciousness in consumer markets. If consumers drive change in the industry by their choices then the resulting changes will become GIANT steps, as trade participants clamour to meet the process changes of the new demand. This is all good news. And we all have a part in ensuring this happens quickly.

I met last week with a representative from the Department of Resources visiting Perth from Canberra, dealing specifically with the Kimberley Process approvals and applications, who informed me also that Australia is world-class for processing rough diamond import/export entry, and may be used as a model for the process internationally.

We talked about the role of KP, amongst other NGO's, in helping diamond goods reach the market mindfully and peacefully, of being able to track exporters and shipments, instead of illicit, illegal trade supporting war and conditions of conflict that previously existed. The role of KP in helping proper trade channels develop and monitoring of the goods.

I sometimes feel that “greenwashing” has created a sense of righteousness in the gem community, the kind that is self-serving, instead of progressing the whole industry. The idea is not to block trade indefinitely surely? Just long enough for the economic effect to be felt strongly enough to affect important social or legal change. Long enough for a corrupt government or enterprise to want to clean itself up in order to participate in proper trade. And then there needs to be someone to monitor that change. Step in Kimberley Process.

Having both imported and exported rough diamond goods recently I am super-impressed with the stringency of the process as first hand experience. I am not naïve enough to think that all governments are created equally, but my experience with our Government has given me renewed confidence in the Kimberley Process.

Let’s not forget that large mining corporations like RTD /RioZim have been successfully and peacefully mining and transporting rough from Zimbabwe since 2004 see  As with all its production it follows the same social and environmental standards as its other mines. So there is a strong business model for proper controls in mining production and trade. Zimbabwe goods have been entering the market place for a decade now. Of course that doesn’t make news, because it is not sensational press.

We hope this will one day be translated to all gems, not just diamonds. Perhaps then we can turn our priorities to the acceptance of gems from Burma? Or is it that Burmese rubies are so highly prized that we can ignore the social conditions and conflict there? It is hypocritical of the trade to allow this.

We cannot stop at Kimberley process, or at diamonds. But we must start…….