White House Holds ‘Identification’ Meeting

As a sign of how serious the whole issue of diamond identification has become, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy held a conference on "Technologies for [Diamond] Identification and Certification" in January. In addition to an all-star roster of geologists and gemologists, the event drew representatives of the industry, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), federal agencies from the Customs Service to the State Department, and the governments of the United Kingdom, Botswana, South Africa, Belgium, Israel, Switzerland, Russia, and Sierra Leone. The group's mandate was laid out early by Gayle E. Smith, a member of the President's National Security Council: "We need a regime that is tight enough that I can't just put diamonds in my pocket and walk off with them." National Security Advisor Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger appeared briefly at the event, calling conflict dia

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