Conflict Diamonds

WHAT ARE CONFLICT DIAMONDS

Conflict diamonds, also referred to as blood diamonds or war diamonds, are diamonds that originate from areas that are controlled by forces, factions or corrupt governments responsible for fuelling conflict and wars.

Small scale diamond mining was exploited, and these diamonds were often used to fund military action by the forces, action that has resulted in the loss of an estimated 3-4 million lives in Sierra Leone, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Whilst many of these conflicts have now been somewhat resolved, the problem of conflict diamonds still exists and always will. Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery, together with others in the industry, has a duty to the millions who have suffered to make sure these diamonds do not infiltrate the diamond industry.

AVOIDING CONFLICT DIAMONDS

We have always been ardent about using conflict free diamonds and ethically mined gemstones. Together with the British Jewellers' Association, the Responsible Jewellery Council and our diamond suppliers, we put a lot of effort into ensuring that the diamonds we use are not sourced from areas controlled by forces rebelling against the legitimate and internationally recognised government of the relevant country.

We are at the forefront of the fight to improve ethics in the jewellery industry. Together with her team of designers, Harriet is playing a significant role in the jewellery industry's drive towards a more ethical and environmentally responsible approach. In September 2011 we became the first UK independent jeweller to be fully certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council and Harriet has continued to use her work with the Responsible Jewellery Council and the National Association of Jewellers to create change.

We always try to ensure that buying jewellery from us is a wonderful experience and we truly love getting to know our customers personally. Part of this relationship is based on a mutual understanding of our processes, ethics and what we stand for. Ethically mined jewellery is therefore not only of huge importance to us but to our customers too. We have always felt like this and we always will – it is as important to us as it is to you that the diamond on your finger has not been used to fund conflicts.

As a company we do not knowingly have any contact whatsoever with conflict diamonds and we cannot stress enough how important this is to us. Harriet has campaigned ardently for this cause, even before it became prominent in the news.

OUR POLICY ON CONFLICT DIAMONDS

Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery's Policy on Conflict Diamonds states that the company:

  • Will trade only with companies that include World Diamond Council System of Warranties declarations on their invoices for all new diamonds.
  • Will not buy new diamonds from suspect sources or unknown suppliers, or which originate in countries that have not implemented the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
  • Will not knowingly buy, sell or assist others to buy or sell conflict diamonds.
  • Will ensure that all company personnel that buy or sell diamonds are well informed and educated in Kimberley Process

STONES WILL BE SOURCED ONLY FROM REPUTABLE DEALERS 

Before undertaking any business with new stone dealers Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery require the following written assurances:

  • All of their diamonds are sold in accordance with the DTC Best Practice Principles (these cover child labour, safe working practices, conflict diamonds and also things like the issue of treated diamonds).
  • No diamonds have been purchased in breach of UN resolutions Nos. 1173, 1176 or the Kimberley Process.
  • The intake of diamonds does not include any diamonds that have come from any area in Africa controlled by forces rebelling against the legitimate and internationally recognised government of the relevant country.

Alongside written assurances, any prospective supplier will be interviewed by Harriet to ensure that they share Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery's strong ethical stance on this matter. Unlike ordinary retailers who buy their stock from anonymous suppliers, we source our own stones individually for the jewellery that we make, from diamond dealers we personally know and with whom we have built up trust over many years.

CUSTOMERS' OWN NEW STONES 

When designing a piece of jewellery around a customer's own gemstone that has been purchased new from a supplier not used by Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery, the company must make sure that any loose diamonds come with the World Diamond Council System of Warranties to ensure that the rough diamonds were traded through the Kimberley Process. Any reputable supplier will have no problem supplying this.

We will not work with customers' own diamonds that have been bought since 2003 when the Kimberley Process began if there is a chance that they were traded without these assurances. 

RECYCLED STONES 

Reusing stones from old jewellery is slightly different - there is no meaningful way of knowing their provenance and so we cannot ask for that guarantee.

In this case the following assurances are sought:

  • The diamonds are still in their original mount.
  • A written letter of assurance that the item was a family heirloom and that they are unable to verify the provenance of the stones.

If the jewellery has been bought since 2003 we will ask for information about the provenance of the piece so we can assure ourselves that the diamonds are Kimberley Process certified. 

STAFF EDUCATION 

Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery has produced a staff handbook on the Kimberley Process. Each member of staff is required to read and understand the principles of the Kimberley Process.

The following assurances are printed on all Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery bespoke jewellery customer invoices:

All diamonds supplied by ourselves herein invoiced have been purchased by legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations resolutions. We hereby guarantee that these diamonds are conflict free, based upon personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier of these diamonds.

Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery has never knowingly sold conflict diamonds and to the best of our ability we will undertake reasonable measures to help prevent the sale of conflict diamonds in this country.