The leaders of the U.S. jewelry industry have made plans to present a united front to the public should the issue of conflict diamonds break into greater national consciousness this fall. The planned communications to the public could include full-page ads in newspapers around the country stating the jewelry industry's strong opposition to the tainted stones.
David Peters, director of education for Jewelers of America, told an audience of jewelers at the Professional Jeweler Show in Las Vegas, that by banding together industry leaders could have greater impact on the public than by acting separately. Peters, representing the Conflict Diamonds Working Group, of which JA is a member, demonstrated a self-study program recently developed by JA to jewelers attending the show. The written guide will help jewelers educate themselves and their sales staffs in answering questions that customers may ask this fall.
Though the need may not seem urgent, says Peters, the CDWG learned the TV news magazines "20/20" and "60 Minutes" have prepared stories on the issue for fall airing. Also, CDWG has learned human-rights organizations might still plan to picket jewelry stores and run negative publicity campaigns, especially if they judge the jewelry industry isn't acting quickly enough to halt the sale of conflict diamonds.
For more information on the new self-study program, contact JA at (212) 768-8777. For background and updates on conflict diamonds, go to the Conflict Diamond Archive.
- by Peggy Jo Donahue