December 13, 2002
JA Issues Guidance to Members on Kimberley Process Compliance
To coincide with the January 2003 global implementation of the Kimberley Process and the industry's system of self-regulation to eliminate conflict diamonds, Jewelers of America has issued guidelines for its members. These materials are posted on the members section of the JA Web site, www.jewelers.org, and will be included as a special insert in the Jan./Feb. 2003 issue of the JA membership newsletter, The J Report.
"Jewelers of America is pleased that a solution has been reached in the conflict diamonds issue," says Matthew A. Runci, JA president and CEO . "It has taken more than two years of industry effort and considerable resources to create the new global system and now it is up to all of us to help make it work."
The most important part of the industry program is the creation of warranties that follow consignments of diamonds throughout the journey that ultimately brings them to retail stores. Each time diamonds change hands, the seller must attest to their legitimacy by means of a warranty. The documents content, as agreed to by the International Diamond Manufacturers Association and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, is:
The diamonds herein invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations Resolutions. The seller hereby guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier of these diamonds.
This warranty applies to product fabricated from diamonds mined from Jan. 1, 2003, onward. Existing inventory will in most cases carry the pledge now widely used that the sellers have made their best effort to assure the diamonds legitimacy.
JA urges all retailers to deal only with suppliers who meet the new warranty requirement and subscribe to other elements of the self-regulatory system. Specifically, JA recommends that all retailers should:
Inform all diamond suppliers in writing that you will require a warranty, in the form cited above, with the invoice covering each diamond consignment. JA has drafted a form letter that retailers might consider using for that purpose.
Retain these invoices for at least five years.
JA has also prepared a two-page consumer guide retailers can customize with store name and give to customers who have questions or raise concerns over the conflict diamonds issue.
"Retailers will now be able to assure their customers that important new safeguards are in place to protect the supply of diamonds from exploitation by criminals who traffic in conflict diamonds," Runci says. "Active participation by retailers is required for this assurance to be credible."
The consumer guide, the form letter retailers can use with suppliers, and detailed information on the new system can be found in the members-only section of JA's Web site.