RAPAPORT… Myths about the industry, especially among consumers, are some of the hardest to debunk. Here, leading experts correct some common misconceptions.
Myth: Customers are significantly at risk of buying a conflict diamond
Reality: Perhaps the most pervasive myth of all, the issue of conflict diamonds — or “blood diamonds” — has a firm grip on the public consciousness.
“Our industry has made great strides since the widespread awareness that came to light during the brutal civil wars in Sierra Leone and Angola in the 1990s,” says Don Palmieri, president of the Gem Certification & Assurance Lab (GCAL). The percentage of the global diamond trade funding or facilitating conflict at that time is up for debate, with estimates ranging from less than 1.5% to as much as 15%. But since the introduction of the Kimberley Process (KP) certification scheme and the World Diamond Council (WDC) System of Warranties, more than 99.8% of the world’s diamonds are certified conflict-free, with the support of 81 countries.