Hot Rocks: Uncertified Diamonds Go to the Smithsonian

Ever wonder what happens to the rough diamonds without Kimberley Process certificates that are seized by U.S. Customs?

That question arose during a session on the Kimberley Process at the recent “Diamonds” conference in New York City sponsored by Initiatives in Art and Culture.

Jeffrey Post, geologist and curator-in-charge of the mineral collection for the Smithsonian Institution, told the crowd that the seized stones were the subject of considerable deliberation: Because they might be “conflict” diamonds, some suggested burning them. Instead, they are now sent to the Smithsonian for research purposes.—RB