Following an angry tug-of-war over who would issue Kimberley Process certificates for American rough diamond exports, the two major U.S. diamond organizations have joined forces to form the U.S. Kimberley Process Authority.
The certification entity was originally supposed to be part of Jewelers of America. Then the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers of America grabbed the ball and created the Rough Diamond Export Mechanism (RDEM), an independent entity that would issue certificates. But this rankled some at the Diamond Dealers Club, the other New York diamond association, who complained they did not have adequate representation on the RDEM board and were not consulted in its formation. The DDC then decided to form its own group.
Now, it appears all is peaceful again. What made this situation particularly unusual is that the RDEM’s duties are strictly administrative, and it’s not likely to be too busy, as America exports relatively few rough diamonds.
Imports of rough diamonds into the United States would continue to be handled by the U.S. Customs Service.
Members of the authority will be Judge S. Herman Klarsfeld, general counsel to the New York DDC; Cecilia L. Gardner, general counsel to the Jewelers Vigilance Committee; and Matthew A. Runci (chair), president and CEO of Jewelers of America.