Conflict Diamond Bust: The Sequel

They say in journalism, when you have two of something, it’s a trend. Well, maybe it’s premature, but I am willing to pronounce the second “Clean Diamond Trade Act”-related bust in recent months a trend.

Now, we all may remember, the first bust in Arizona, heralded by the World Diamond Council, ended with a slap on the wrist, as the lawyers argued that the diamonds were too low-quality to be gems, and therefore exempt from the “Clean Diamond Trade Act,” the operative law in this instance. But apparently the Feds aren’t giving up, and are trying again.

This new bust was in Ohio — appropriately enough, the home of the author of the Clean Diamond Trade Act, Tony Hall. The press coverage has been typically ill-informed on this, pronouncing the stones “conflict diamonds,” when that is likely not what they are. And this case might be dropped too; since the diamonds involved were again said to be small, if I were the Ohio lawyers, I’d be closely watching what happened in Arizona.  In addition, the stones were also said to be going from Spain to Indiana, certainly an off-beat smuggling route. 

It’s worth noting that this enforcement seems to be stepped up after the Blood Diamond movie; if so, it’s a little sad it took a movie to make this happen. Even so, the busts are a good thing, and for the good of the industry and everyone involved, they should happen more often …

JCK News Director