What areas of the world are affected by conflict diamonds?

The only current case of rebel forces controlling diamond-producing areas is in Côte d'Ivoire. These conflict diamonds constitute less than 0.1% of the world's production, according to estimates from the Kimberley Process (KP) and the United Nations. The KP is working with the United Nations and neighbouring countries to stop these diamonds entering the legal market. There is now much greater stability in the other countries that have previously suffered from conflicts funded in part by diamonds: Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Of course, fragile situations still prevail, and no one should make the mistake of losing interest just because the guns are silent. The KP means that there is now the potential for the wealth created by diamonds to contribute to peace and prosperity in these countries, rather than conflict. There have been some promising results – 2006 was the DRC's best year for diamond exports since the stones were discovered 100 years ago. In Sierra Leone, legal exports have increased 100-fold since the end of the war in 2002, bringing benefits for the estimated 10% of the population who depend on the diamond industry.

What is the difference between Kimberley Process participants and observers?

Participants in the Kimberley Process (KP) are states or regional economic integration organisations (currently the European Community) that have met the minimum requirements of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) and are, therefore, eligible to trade in rough diamonds with one another. The KPCS prohibits participants from trading with non-participants. Participants are often referred to as ‘members'.   Observers are industry and civil society groups involved in the KP. These groups monitor the effectiveness of the certification scheme, and provide technical and administrative expertise. There are currently four main Kimberley Process observers: the World Diamond Council (WDC), representing industry, the Civil Society Coalition (CSC), Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) and the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA).

How do I know I am not buying a conflict diamond?

Although the Kimberley Process does not certify individual jewellers, reputable businesses should only buy from suppliers that can guarantee that their diamonds are conflict-free.