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What Is the Kimberley Process, and How Does It Work?

What Is the Kimberley Process, and How Does It Work?

On our blog, we have talked about both uncut and cut diamonds, their value, price, and general characteristics. This article will focus more on uncut diamonds and the Kimberley Process that is important for owning them.

Let’s start by answering the question: What is the Kimberley Process, and what are its advantages? The shortest answer would include the following definition:

The Kimberley Process (KP) is an international, multi-stakeholder initiative designed to improve the diamond industry’s transparency and regulation.

The reason is to end the trade in conflict diamonds or rough diamonds sold by rebel groups or their allies to finance hostilities against legitimate governments. 

To better understand what all this means from the definition above, we need to start from the very beginning.

Let’s see what we have prepared for you!

The Uncut Diamonds, Their Characteristics, and Price

As we previously stated, we have dealt with uncut and cut diamonds. However, today’s topic that we will write about is connected with uncut diamonds and their possession, transport, sale, and much more.

So let’s start from the very beginning and answer the question: What are uncut diamonds, and what are their characteristics?

Raw, uncut diamonds are unpolished gemstones or those that have not been skillfully shaped into a specific size or shape. Natural rough diamonds come in a wide range of hues and forms.

Rough diamonds are available in various colors, including pink, gray, blue, and black, since natural diamonds come in both colored and colorless kinds.

The octahedron is the most typical form for uncut diamonds.

Raw diamonds still need to be cut and polished before being used in jewelry, even though their quality is typically good after they are mined. As a result, diamonds in your diamond bracelets or rings seem very different from uncut and untreated diamonds.

Uncut diamonds resemble translucent or transparent crystals. These might have a hint of brown or yellow, or they could be colorless. The edges of a natural diamond may be angular or rounded.

A 1-carat diamond can cost anywhere from $1,300 to $16,500, depending on the diamond’s shape, color, clarity, and cut quality. An uncut diamond’s carat (size), clarity, and color are principally responsible for determining its price.

Carat: Generally, the price of something increases with the carat weight. This presupposes that every other quality is the same. A more petite, clean rough could be more expensive than a big yellow rough with numerous faults.

Learn More: Raw Uncut Diamond Price List: Rough Diamond Prices Guide

Now that we have the basics about uncut diamonds, their shape, price, color, and many other things, it is time to move on to the Kimberley Process!

The Kimberley Process

An international certification program that controls the trade in rough diamonds is called the Kimberley Process. While protecting the reputable trade in raw diamonds, it seeks to stop the flow of conflict diamonds.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) lists the guidelines for trading in raw diamonds. Each participant must adhere to a set of minimum criteria established by the KPCS. The KP isn’t technically an international organization because neither its offices nor its employees are permanent.

It depends on the contributions—under the tenet of “burden-sharing“— of participants, assisted by business and civic society observers. As the KP is implemented through the national laws of its participants, it cannot be regarded as an international agreement from a legal standpoint either.

How Did the Kimberley Process Get Its Name, and How Was It Founded?

The Kimberley Process is named after Kimberley, South Africa’s Northern Cape province. What is the Kimberley Process, and why was it founded in the first place? Let’s take a look!

United Nations resolution created the Kimberley Process to address the threat posed to the global diamond industry by mining and smuggling gems into legal channels to finance conflicts on the continent.

A document that outlines the minimal requirements for confirming that rough diamonds are “conflict-free” was adopted by ministers from 37 nations and the European Community in Interlaken, Switzerland, in November 2002.

An official exporting authority must issue certificates detailing the origin and contents of each shipment of rough diamonds as one of the requirements. Participating nations promise to adhere to the rules and limit their trade with other countries.

How Does It Work?

For members of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) to certify shipments of raw diamonds as “conflict-free” and stop conflict diamonds from entering the legal trade, the KPCS puts onerous restrictions on them.

Participants must adhere to the KPCS’s “basic standards,” establish national laws and institutions, export, import, and internal controls, and pledge to openness and the sharing of statistical data.

Only members who comply with the scheme’s basic standards can deal with one another lawfully. In addition, international shipments of raw diamonds must be sent with a KP certificate attesting to their conflict-free status.

Rotating between participant nations, the Kimberley Process is chaired.

Up until now, the KP has been presided over by South Africa, Canada, the Russian Federation, Botswana, the European Union, India, Namibia, Israel, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United States of America, the People’s Republic of China, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates.

In addition to regular working group meetings and committees, the KP’s member nations, industry representatives, and observers from civil society come together twice a year to hold the position and plenary sessions.

Implementation is followed up by yearly reports, “review visits,” and the routine sharing and analysis of statistical data.

The approach’s clear benefit is the substantial reduction in the availability of conflict diamonds on the open market. The KPCS accounts for around 99.8% of the raw stones sold on the open market.

Now that we’ve explained how the Kimberley Seed works let’s see who all its members are!

Who Is Involved?

As mentioned, states and regional economic integration bodies permitted to deal in raw diamonds are members of the Kimberley Process (KP).

The European Community counts as one participant out of the 59 representing 85 nations.

All-powerful nations producing, exporting, and importing raw diamonds are represented among the participants. The KP also includes significant participation from civil society organizations and the diamond industry through the World Diamond Council.

These organizations have been involved from the beginning and continue supporting efficient execution and oversight.

In addition, civil society organizations like Partnership-Africa Canada and the World Diamond Council, which represents the global diamond industry, engage in the KP and have been essential players since the project’s inception.

Related Read: Are Blood Diamonds Still Sold?

How Effective Is the Kimberley Process?

The Kimberley Process has successfully reduced crime rates and the quantity of funding and supplies that rebel groups in Sierra Leone and Angola receive.

But over time, the principles and ethics that the Kimberley Process represents have changed.

The Kimberley Process has effectively lowered the overall volume of conflict diamonds entering the market. Ten years after the group was founded, there is still a lot of controversy around the problem of blood diamonds.

The Kimberley Process only applies to raw diamonds; thus, once a stone has been cut and polished, the program no longer protects it.

Now we have a new topic, and that is Blood Diamonds.

According to the United Nations (UN), a blood diamond, also known as a conflict diamond, is any diamond that is mined in regions under the control of groups hostile to the internationally accepted, legitimate government of a nation and is then sold to pay for military action against that government.

Millions of people have been killed and displaced due to the brutal conflicts that diamonds have helped finance in nations like Angola, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

They are known as “Blood Diamonds” for a reason. The story of Blood Diamond is based on the experiences of people in Sierra Leone during the civil war, even though the story is centered on fictitious characters.

Also, there is a movie about these events. In the movie, rebel organizations are shown attacking villages, enslaving Sierra Leoneans, using children as combatants, and operating illegal marketplaces that are frequently disregarded.

Now you must be wondering what is up with blood diamonds today? It demonstrates that Sierra Leone is still engaged in the manufacturing of conflict diamonds.

President Kabbah had declared the 11-year civil war by 2002, and significant human rights problems persist in Sierra Leone, according to the 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Africa from the United States.

Men, women, and children are frequently compelled to work in the production of blood diamonds.

Additionally, they are taken from authorized producers’ mining activities or stolen while shipping. These assaults might have the size of a significant military operation.

What Are Geographical Regions Impacted by Conflict Diamonds?

Currently, Côte d’Ivoire is the only country where rebel groups are in charge of diamond-producing regions. Kimberley Process (KP) and United Nations (UN) assessments place the amount of these conflict diamonds in the world’s output at less than 0.1 percent.

The KP collaborates with the UN and surrounding nations to prevent these diamonds from accessing the legitimate market.

The other nations that had previously seen conflicts financed partly by diamonds – Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – are now considerably more stable (DRC).

Naturally, delicate circumstances continue to exist. Therefore no one should make the error of losing interest simply because the guns are silent.

According to the KP, these nations now have the opportunity to use the riches generated by diamonds. The reason is to promote peace and development rather than strife.

There have been some encouraging outcomes; 2006 was the DRC’s top export year since the discovery of diamonds 100 years ago. Since the conflict ended in 2002 in Sierra Leone, legal exports have multiplied one hundred times, benefiting the estimated 10% of the population who rely on the diamond sector.

Related Read: What Is the Best Way to Transport Diamonds? Let’s Find Out!

What Distinguishes Observers and Participants in the Kimberley Process?

States or regional economic integration organizations that have met the minimum standards of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) and are thus qualified to trade in rough diamonds with one another are participants in the Kimberley Process (KP). 

At the moment, this includes the European Community.

Trading with non-participants is forbidden under the KPCS. Members are a common term used to describe participants. Industry and public society organizations are participating in the KP act as observers.

These organizations offer technical and administrative know-how while keeping an eye on the certification program’s performance.

The World Diamond Council (WDC), which represents the industry, the Civil Society Coalition (CSC), the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), and the African Diamond Producers Association are the current four primary Kimberley Process observers (ADPA).

Now that we’ve come to an end, it’s time to consolidate everything we’ve discussed today!

Final Thoughts

We believe we have addressed the initial query: What is the Kimberley Process, And What Are Its Advantages? The answer to the query and the simple solution are:

A multinational, multi-stakeholder project called the Kimberley Process (KP) aims to increase the regulation and transparency of the diamond business.

We hope that despite providing you with as much information as possible on the Kimberley Process, its participants, and many others in this essay, we were also able to amuse you.

If you are interested in the subject of blood diamonds, which are very important for uncut diamonds and their sale, you can read this article to learn more about them: Blood (Conflict) Diamonds: Why Call Them Blood Diamonds?

We hope you had as much fun reading this article as we had writing it!

Related Read: The Diamond Industry: ​​How Does Diamond Business Work?