African Diamond Controversy

Swissa Jewelers is a member of the Jewelers of America, the national association of retail jewelers in the United States who deplore the efforts of brutal rebel forces in Africa who illicitly seize, smuggle and sell diamonds to finance their acts of war and terror. Swissa Jewelers supports the Clean Diamond Trade Act, passed in April 2003, to stop the trade of diamonds with any named conflict diamond country such as Sierra Leone, Angola, Congo, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania.

Swissa Jewelers pledges its cooperation and support in the efforts of the World Diamond Council established in July 2000, which includes representation from the diamond industry and countries where diamonds play a major economic role. The mandate of the World Diamond Council is oversight of a tracking system for the export and import of rough diamonds to prevent exploitation of diamonds for illicit purposes such as war and terror.

The diamond tracking system is called the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme. The Kimberly Process is the certification of all rough diamonds from the country of origin to the import country. In the United States this is all enforced by United States Customs. This ensures that all diamonds being traded legally are given a tracking certification. Swissa Jewelers has signed contracts with all suppliers that they all abide by the Kimberly Process and support all governmental fines and sanctions against any source not following the law.

It is also important to remember that over 30 countries in Africa rely on the legitimate diamond economy for economic survival. If the trade of diamonds were to discontinue so would the economies of many poor African countries.