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Diamonds and Conflicts





Some of you may have heard of the movie “Blood Diamond” starring Leonardo DiCaprio about conflict diamonds in the 1990s.It takes place in Sierra Leone, Africa.The story is based on an actual incident in which diamonds mined in the area were used to finance a civil war.






In 2000, diamond industry officials introduced a system called the Kimberley Process, which requires countries that trade rough diamonds to attach a certificate of origin (Kimberley Process Certificate) to their diamonds in order to prevent the distribution of diamonds from conflict zones.


 Countries that joined this system are now required to distribute only diamonds with a certificate that are not from conflict zones.Currently, more than 80 countries, including Japan, are members of the Kimberley Process. The Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), which was in the midst of a civil war in the 1990s, is now a member of the Kimberley Process and exports about 10% of the world’s diamonds.After a long civil war, Angola also joined the Kimberley Process, and its diamond industry has flourished.As a result, the Kimberley Process has eliminated nearly 100% of the diamond trade that financed the rebellion.


And now the EU and G7 member countries have agreed to a phased ban on imports of Russian diamonds, as well as on the distribution of diamonds polished in third countries.It is said that Russian diamonds used to account for about 30% of all diamonds of high quality, but as a result of these agreements, even in Japan, a G7 member country, there is currently no trade in Russian diamonds.

Diamonds are traded at high prices even though they are easily portable in size, which may sometimes make them easy to use as a source of funds for countries or regions in conflict zones or for some rebel organizations.


Although it cannot be said that the diamond industry has completely eliminated the problems of conflict-related trade and child labor, it is an undeniable fact that the diamond industry’s efforts, beginning with the Kimberley Process and continuing with the recent conflicts in Russia and Ukraine, have greatly increased the transparency of the diamond distribution system. I believe that this is the most important factor in the world without conflicts. 

A conflict-free world would of course be the best thing, but there are limits to what individuals can do.However, I believe that we can at least take action to reduce the likelihood of conflict. 



There is more transparency in the diamond industry today than you may think, and there is a constant effort to move in the right direction. 

And of course, OKURADO diamonds are no exception. 

This time, I would like to talk about diamonds and conflicts.




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Hitoshi Okura




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