Reaction from Diamond Industry Insiders
The movie Blood Diamond (2006) brings to life a horrifying reality. Africa. A magnificent and rare diamond. Horrific violence. Devastating scenes. Appalling abuse of people and power. Watching the movie was a window to an ugly truth for many of us.
How do people in the Diamond industry feel after watching the movie? I sat down with two professionals in the diamonds field, who deal with this precious commodity like their fathers and grandfathers before them, to get some of their thoughts…
Steven*, feels that the movie had a strong emotional impact on him.
“The concept of Conflict and Blood Diamonds is not new to me, especially since the awful revelation was brought to the forefront of our awareness in the ‘90s. However, seeing such a strong portrayal in live images really hit hard. As a religious and moral human being, I felt sickened by the lows that some will reach for wealth and control. The depravity and suffering is horrendous.
Sitting in my office, dealing with beautiful jewelry, it’s shocking that these events, which happen so far away from our own comfortable existence, could be the secret pasts of our very own beloved jewels.
And I wonder to myself … is this now how all people around the world will view my profession? What will my son think of his father, who always talks of the value of human life and yet is part of this Diamond World? Will every member of the Diamond trade now be assumed to be an accomplice to these awful atrocities? I, who would turn the other way at the slightest whiff of wrongdoing – do people see me as immoral and money hungry in a money spinning, bloody profession?
Diamonds are my job and my livelihood. Though many perceive Diamonds as a flashy and lucrative industry, I believe it is a form of trade like many others, with high stakes and hard work as part of the description. Am I now seen to be involved with shady, criminal dealings? After all the precautions I take to keep the diamonds and people I work with clean of all doubt…
The Kimberley Process has made significant steps in curtailing diamonds from the support and perpetuation of these vile elements. Yet as we see in the movie, a blood diamond in the wrong hands might still be a pocket away from our doors. However, Diamonds are just one step in the stark reality of tyranny. There will always be ruthless human beings who will go to any lengths for their own self gain. Until the regimes and leaders who oppress their people and resources come to an end, it will be not only the Diamond industry, but many, many more whose scrupulous workers might be unwittingly conned into supporting these awful crimes against humanity.”
John* did not feel that the movie was a fair portrayal of the Industry in that it did not attempt to separate between conflict diamonds and the remaining majority of “clean” diamonds in the world.
“Conflict or Blood Diamonds are indeed a terrible, heartrending and horrific result of people’s greed and abuse of others. The images were a living show of this. People with hearts of stone, who show no mercy or regard for others, no morals that guide their actions, are truly despicable.
In my business, these are the personalities that I avoid at all costs. No matter what the monetary benefits, these types of Diamonds will never knowingly enter, even the slightest doubt is enough for me to abandon a deal.
By its very nature, our trade is built on trust. For example, in buying rough diamonds, they are not sold individually, but in quantities where each one can not be inspected. I take the “risk” of some of them being inferior or tampered with to fake their quality or other such problems. For this reason, I make every effort to ascertain exactly who I am dealing with and his reliability. Someone who is involved in these atrocities is a person with no scruples, who is impossible to trust, who I will not do business with.
Russian Diamonds for example, are government controlled resource where there is full accountability, which makes it easier to establish the source of the Diamonds.
I and the majority of Diamond traders will demand complete transparency from our trade partners, and give the same in return. For this reason, I do not believe that there is any justification that Blood Diamonds should tarnish the moral integrity of the entire industry which my family has been a part of for 3 generations!”
* Names have been changed
Purchase Only 100% Conflict Free Diamonds
Conflict free diamonds remain a serious issue. As all of the stories that followed the movie show, a conflict diamond is still something that we all need to remain vigilant about. The Kimberley Process is not foolproof.
For this reason, we at Mazal Diamond have taken the strongest possible precautions to guarantee that what we sell is 100% conflict free. For more information, read our Conflict Free Guarantee and tour the Mazal Diamond Factory.
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