Blood Diamonds are Not a Girl's Best Friend

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Jewelers and online jewelry stores have a new badge of honor adorning their websites. A new “conflict-free logo” provided by http://www.StopBloodDiamonds.org is the new badge of honor used by jewelers all over the globe to show their commitment in helping stop the flow of conflict diamonds. The new logo can be used only by members of the new organization.

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StopBloodDiamonds.org launches today in an effort to unite the jewelry trade into stopping the trade in Conflict Diamonds (Blood Diamonds) The organizations aims to provide this clear way for customers to identify online stores that deal only with “clean” conflict-free diamonds.

For potential buyers to find out in a glance whether an online jewelry store sells conflict-free diamonds only, customers just need to look for a 'StopBloodDiamonds' logo on the site’s homepage. Consumers are urged to buy only from stores with this logo since the logo serves as a guarantee that the online store do not sell conflict or blood diamonds. The new organization has been given a significant boost by receiving the immediate backing of a number of the largest diamond e-retailers including diamondsafe.com

The new StopBloodDiamonds logo means that the online jewelry store sporting it is a member of the new organization.

StopBloodDiamonds.org is a website whose members are composed of jewelers and jewelry store owners that adhere to the website’s policy of not buying or selling Diamonds that do not carry warranties declaring them to be conflict-free. The new website offers free membership to jewelers in exchange for their promise to abide to their policies. StopBloodDiamonds.org policies are in accordance to the policies and guidelines laid out by the Kimberly Process.

The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme has not been able to stop conflict diamond trade on its own. It subsequently requires the support of the entire diamond industry from the diamond producers, to cutters, to bourses, and finally the jewelers themselves. While participant nations and the rest of the diamond industry are being lauded for their efforts in implementing and following the guidelines laid out by the Kimberly Process it has been shown that many jewelers and jewelry retail stores are not holding up their end of the bargain. In 2004 a survey conducted by Global Witness and Amnesty International among diamond jewelers in USA showed that only 11% of the visited stores have a clear policy on conflict diamonds. Clearly jewelers need to be encouraged to have a more active participation in the fight against the trade of Blood Diamonds.

In case an online store does not sport a StopBloodDiamonds Logo consumers are advised to look for the store’s policy and determine whether the store has their own written policy regarding blood diamonds. Jewelry stores that do not have a written policy or do not have StopBloodDiamonds Logo on their website should not be patronized by consumers.

Consumers, the diamond industry, and governments all agree that the illicit trading of conflict diamonds has to be completely eradicated. Although there have been steps taken by governments and the World Diamond Council, which represents the diamond industry as a whole, their efforts will be meaningless without the cooperation of individual jewelers and jewelry stores.

For jewelers signing up with StopBloodDiamonds.org will signify the jewelers’ commitment to joining the fight against conflict diamonds trade. Joining will entail no expense but will require jewelers to commit to the policies of StopBloodDiamonds.org, which are in accordance to the policies laid out by the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KCPS).

To be a member of StopBloodDiamonds.org jewelers and jewelry stores need only to sign up with the website. There is no joining fee but applicants need to agree to the policies set by the website regarding the non-participation in the trade of questionable diamonds before they can be approved as members. The website not only expects its members to never buy and sell conflict diamonds but to also help in creating awareness about the issue.

For consumers the website acts a central resource for Blood Diamonds, including surveys, polls and newsletter subscription to keep updated on this hot topic. The site also offers a full library on Conflict Diamonds, including transcripts of the official guidelines, laws and policies of the UN, EU, USA, UK and Amnesty International. The site also posts information and links to the upcoming Leonardo DiCaprio 2006 movie entitled 'Blood Diamonds' which will bring to the worlds attention the social problems of conflict diamonds in the world.

One of the first jewelers to sign up was leading internet diamonds retailer http://www.Diamondsafe.com. Diamondsafe are a major supporter of the initiative and since using the StopBloodDiamonds Logo on their site have received a number of positive emails and phone calls regarding their inclusion in the program.

Jewelry stores and jewelers worldwide are invited to join StopBloodDiamond’s campaign to help stop this illicit trade. Jewelers ought to remember that by joining the campaign they not only help eradicate the problem of Blood Diamonds but help their own businesses as well by gaining the trust of their consumers.

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Clifton Flack
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