India Cautioned By United States Over Sanctioned Diamonds
“I consider Zimbabwe diamonds as products under sanction,” said Gillian Milovanovic, the US Chair of the Kimberley Process, during a visit to the Surat region in India, where 92% of the world’s diamonds are cut and polished. India recently signed a deal with Zimbabwe to import that country’s rough diamonds for processing. Many of these stones are ultimately destined for the United States, despite existing sanctions against them. Reports indicate the transaction between India and ZImbabwe to be worth over $2 billion USD, which could ultimately represent a measurable percentage of the global diamond trade.
To date, India, along with countries like Russia and China, have shown little or no interest in addressing human rights issues under the auspices of the Kimberley Process. The situation became so grave last year that in December, civil society group Global Witness, one of the original architects behind the Kimberley Process, withdrew from the certification scheme stating; “Nearly nine years after the Kimberley Process was launched, the sad truth is that most consumers still cannot be sure where their diamonds come from, nor whether they are financing armed violence or abusive regimes.”
When India struck this deal with the Mugabe regime, it seems they assumed no one was looking. But it seems the United States government is watching.
According to Global Witness, “Consumers have a right to know what they’re buying.” While much of the jewelry industry remains happy selling unknown origin diamonds, at Leber Jeweler Inc, we offer conflict-free Canadian diamonds with certified country of origin.