De Beers Guarantees the Source of its Rough Diamonds

February 29, 2000

De Beers Guarantees the Source of its Rough Diamonds

De Beers is taking another step to curb the sale of diamonds from war-ravaged African countries, particularly Angola. Starting with its March 27 sight allocation, the Diamond Trading Co. Ltd., De Beers' selling division, will print a notification on buyer's invoices stating:

  • No diamonds in the box were purchased in breach of U.N. Resolution 1173.
  • The diamonds purchased by De Beers and its associated companies and sold through the sight system do not include any diamonds from any area in Africa controlled by forces rebelling against the legitimate and internationally recognized government of that nation.
U.N. Resolution 1173, adopted by the Security Council in June 1998, condemns the war in Angola and prohibits the sale and export of diamonds by UNITA, Angola's rebel force.

In October De Beers said it would no longer buy diamonds from Angola and that it was reviewing its buying operations in other African countries where war efforts and guerrilla activities were funded by the sale of diamonds. It also withdrew buyers in the Congo and Guinea and instructed its offices in Antwerp and Tel Aviv not to buy any diamonds imported from Africa. Diamond organizations such as the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association also declared "zero tolerances" for the international trade of illicit diamonds.

- by Robert Weldon, G.G.