JVC and JA Ask Members to Take Action on Conflict Diamonds

August 15, 2001

JVC and JA Ask Members to Take Action on Conflict Diamonds

The Jewelers Vigilance Committee and Jewelers of America have asked their members to support U.S. Senate bill S. 1084, called The Clean Diamonds Act, and write their congressional representatives in support of the bill.

The bill prohibits the import of diamonds into the U.S. unless the countries exporting the diamonds have a system of controls for rough diamonds (see related article). There is also a companion bill, H.R. 2722, in the House of Representatives (see related article).

JVC announced its support of S. 1084 Tuesday, saying the JVC board feels strongly that they wish to publicly support this vital effort to curb conflict diamonds.

"We as an industry have worked extremely hard over the last year to do everything we can to help stop the flow of conflict diamonds," says JVC Executive Director Cecilia L. Gardner. "That is why we are taking the additional step of asking our members to write to their congressional representatives." JVC's press release and a sample letter to Congress are online at www.jvclegal.org.

JA sent a letter to its members this week informing them of the new companion bill and asking them to help ensure the enactment of a final conflict diamond bill.

"We must now secure enactment in the relatively brief period between the time Congress reconvenes after Labor Day and adjournment in late autumn," the letter says. "Given procedural obstacles and other factors, this task requires considerable effort. Your help is essential."

JA asks members to get in touch with their representatives and senators and let them know why prompt, favorable action on the bills is important. JA suggests doing this by calling representatives' and senators' local offices and sending letters to their offices in Washington, DC. JA included three sample letters and a tip sheet for calling congressional representatives in the recent mailing. For more information, contact JA at (800) 223-0673.

- by Julia M. Duncan