WDC launches educational Web site about diamond trade

The World Diamond Council on Tuesday launched a new informational Web site, www.diamondfacts.org, along with a major advertising effort that includes full-page print ads in ten major U.S. and international newspapers including The New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, The Times (UK), International Herald Tribune, and Financial Times that will begin running Wednesday.

The effort is part of the WDC’s recently announced campaign to educate consumers and the trade about important diamond-related issues. The WDC, formed in 2000, represents more than 50 industry organizations—from mining companies and trade associations to manufacturers and retailers—worldwide. It’s main mandate is to develop, implement, and provide oversight of a tracking system for the export and import of rough diamonds to prevent the exploitation of diamonds for illicit purposes such as war and inhumane acts.

Diamondfacts.org offers information about diamonds, including the history of the trade and the social and economic benefits diamonds provide nations around the world, to reporting on how the industry is grappling with various challenges including conflict diamonds.

“The primary goal of Diamondfacts.org is to offer people a wealth of factual, balanced information about diamonds,” said Eli Izhakoff, chairman of the World Diamond Council, which is leading the education campaign. “We want people to feel good about their diamond purchases, so we attempted to help eliminate some of the myths and misperceptions about the industry.”

Visitors can use the Web site to understand how diamonds are making a difference globally. From the countries where they are mined to the countries where they are sold and polished, diamonds create jobs and opportunities that support millions of people around the world, WDC says. The Web site also highlights the significant role diamonds are playing, particularly in southern Africa in contributing significantly to supporting healthcare, education, and other infrastructure needs. Specifically, they are helping to tackle the HIV/AIDS pandemic, helping fund necessary counseling, testing, education, treatment programs, clinics and hospices, along with homes and care for orphans. In addition, the website features personal stories from people whose lives have been changed due to diamonds.

Diamondfacts.org also offers information about the progress the industry has made in virtually eliminating the trade in conflict diamonds. At the beginning of this decade, the trade in these conflict diamonds represented approximately 4 percent of the world’s rough diamond output. Since then, the trade in conflict diamonds has been significantly reduced to less than 1 percent of the world’s rough diamond supply.

In large part, this progress has been the result of a joint effort by the diamond industry, the United Nations, more than 45 individual governments, and several NGOs to develop the Kimberley Process, a method of verification that would stop the sale of conflict diamonds and the atrocities and violence they supported.

Diamondfacts.org contains detailed explanations of how retailers and the jewelry trade can guarantee that the diamonds they sell are conflict-free and how consumers can buy diamonds with confidence. Visitors to the site can walk step-by-step through the Kimberley Process and System of Warranties; read what various experts have to say about conflict diamonds; and also keep abreast of the latest relevant news.