To coincide with the global implementation of the Kimberley Process and the industry’s system of self-regulation to eliminate conflict diamonds, Jewelers of America (JA) has issued guidelines for its members. These materials are posted on the members’ section of the JA Web site, www.jewelers.org, and were included in a special insert in the January/February 2003 issue of the JA membership newsletter, The J Report.
The most important part of the industry program is creation of warranties that follow consignments of diamonds. Each time diamonds change hands, the seller must attest to their legitimacy by means of a warranty. As agreed to by the International Diamond Manufacturers Association and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, the document states:
“The diamonds herein invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations Resolutions. The seller hereby guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier of these diamonds.”
This warranty applies to product fabricated from diamonds mined after January 1, 2003. Existing inventory will in most cases carry the pledge now widely used—that the seller has made every effort to assure the wares’ legitimacy.
JA urges all retailers to deal only with suppliers who meet the new warranty requirement and subscribe to other elements of the self-regulatory system, specifically:
Inform all diamond suppliers in writing that you will require a warranty, in the form cited above, with the invoice covering each diamond consignment. JA has drafted a form letter that retailers might consider using for that purpose.
Retain these invoices for at least five years.
JA also has prepared a two-page consumer guide that retailers can customize with their store name and give to customers who have questions or concerns about conflict diamonds.
The consumer guide, the form letter for suppliers, and more detailed information on the new system can be found in the members-only section of the JA Web site or by calling (800) 223-0673.