Is ‘Conflict’ of Interest?

Maybe it was the story on 60 Minutes. Or the one before that on PrimeTime. Or the demonstrations held in New York, Chicago, Boston, and a Washington, D.C., suburb. Or the twin pieces on ABC's World News Tonight, the articles in Newsweek, Time, and VanityFair, or in newspapers throughout America. More likely, it's all of the above. Whatever the cause, consumer awareness of conflict diamonds is inching upwards, although so far it has affected only—to paraphrase the industry line—a small percentage of the overall market. When JCK queried jewelers last September, hardly a handful had heard conflict comments from consumers. But a new JCK survey of more than 200 retail jewelers found that 14% of them had had consumers "mention" the issue. "Awareness is up, but it's still low," says Matthew A. Runci, president and executive director of Jewelers of America. "The issue is definitely registe
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