Commitment to Consumer Protection
All diamonds we source are guaranteed conflict-free, from known legitimate sources and in compliance with United Nations Resolutions, the Kimberley Process and United States Clean Diamonds and Patriot Acts. “Crafted By Infinity” diamonds are further protected under the Belgian Federal AML process and voluntary participation in the JVC-USA Patriot Act Compliance Program.
What are “Conflict Diamonds?”
Exploitation where natural resources are rich and people are poor is a first-order problem in the world we share. Rogue elements have historically used oil, rubber, gold, diamonds, rubies and coltan to finance civil unrest, particularly on the African continent. In the late 1990s it was estimated that between 4 and 15% of the world’s rough diamond supply was touched by conflict. Those traded illicitly became known as “conflict diamonds” or “blood diamonds.”
What has been done about it?
In 2003 the United Nations adopted the Kimberley Process to combat this issue. Participating KPCS governments monitor and certify all rough diamonds before export and forbid any rough diamonds from entering their territory without sealed KPCS certification. According to Kimberley, and supported by Global Witness, 99.8% of the world’s rough diamond production is now Kimberley compliant. Responsible centers of production such as Belgium and the Netherlands enact further federal regulations. Polished diamonds coming to America are additionally covered by the USA Patriot Act. Dealers must maintain Kimberley compliance or be subject to stiff penalties. Failure to comply with guarantees is not a simple FTC violation. Enforcement comes from the Treasury department (IRS), Homeland Security and the US Justice department.
Where are we now?
The work done by the United Nations, responsible governments, NGOs and our trade leaders has been successful. The Kimberley Process, in particular, has dramatically reduced the scope of the issue. However the global diamond industry is vast. Greed is not exclusive to Africa and rogue elements trade rough of dubious origin where they can. KPCS fraud has been uncovered outside of Africa so “conflict diamonds” are not limited to that continent. Countries as close to home as Venezuela have been censured for violations. Border controls are tighter in North America, especially post 9/11, but the possibility of corruption exists, even in Canada where “conflict-free” is used as a national marketing slogan. Unless you walked the diamond yourself from mine to sorting to trading house to cutting factory to parcel buyer to retail outlet, nothing can be 100 percent certain, but 99.8% is highly encouraging.
What is Fortrez doing?
As responsible retailers we do our utmost to protect our clients and ourselves. We select our partners with great care, investigating them just as they do us. We know our suppliers and their commitment to the process of certification. Every diamond we bring in is accompanied by written conflict-free guarantees and all of our partners are committed to the process. We have joined hands and done everything in our power to guarantee conflict-free provenance for you, just as our conscientious peers do.
What can consumers do?
Be proactive. Discuss the situation with dealers. Test their knowledge on the subject and ask to see proof that their diamonds came from Kimberley-Compliant suppliers. Every dealer should be able to provide you with words to this effect:
“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.”
We hope our valued clients will shop responsibly for everything they buy. We urge you to purchase from established, legitimate sources and let suppliers know that price isn't your only consideration. Support non-government organizations and join hands with others committed to humanitarian rights and “green” practices. We may not be able to change politics or end corruption, but we can be vigilant and speak with one voice.