Conflict Diamonds: The Noise Continues

It’s often said that perception is more important than reality. So when the World Diamond Council met recently in Catania, Sicily, the event’s host, CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri, joked that attendees probably expected to see bullets fly by. None did, of course, but the jest wasn’t lost on attendees reeling from yet another spate of bad industry publicity. The World Diamond Council, chaired by Eli Izhakoff, is the industry entity set up to deal with the conflict-diamond issue. It’s won some impressive victories, and it’s hard to imagine a Kimberley Process without it. And yet perception hasn’t always kept up. The bad press has continued. Hollywood has traditionally been friendly to the industry, but now the trade is taking blows from everyone from rapper Kanye West to actor Leonardo DiCaprio. And for all the progress that’s been made, conflict diamonds are still a

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