The EU Lifts Zimbabwe Diamond Ban

The diamond is a beautiful gem. Its facets reflect the light in a myriad of sparkling showers encased in the depths of a substance harder than glass. When you look into a diamond you can be lost in the beauty of that paradox — so hard it takes another diamond to cut the facets, yet so clear you see both sides of the many cuts. An uglier paradox is the history of conflict that affects the diamond fields where these gems are mined in Zimbabwe; great beauty can have great pain in its past.

The Marange region holds some of the world’s most controversial diamond mines. Sanctions against the Zimbabwe Mining Diamond Corporation (Marange Resources, Canadile, Mbada, Kimberworth Investments, and Diamond Mining Corp.) have been in place in the United States and the European Union as a result of forced labor, torture camps, corruption, and more. Those sanctions still hold in the US, but by September 25, 2013 they will have been lifted in Europe according to the EU Authority in Belgium.

This is a controversial decision that NGOs who are active in fighting the corruption of the diamond trade denounce. Their concern is that more time should have been spent investigating claims before lifting sanctions. On the other side, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre in Belgium approves the change in hopes that inclusion in the market will improve conditions and oversight. The AWDC statement includes this goal; “This opening of the market for Antwerp-based trading companies should have a positive impact on the functioning of the market, mining income, on the necessary market transparency and importantly on a sustainable social and economic development of Zimbabwe.”

The conscientious consumer wants to be able to trust that their purchase of luxury goods is not tainted by the blood of the oppressed. The Kimberly Process is the joint initiative of governments, industry, and civil society to stem the flow of such “conflict diamonds”. When purchasing a diamond, it is possible to certify that it has passed through this filter. It is important that your jeweler be someone you can trust to guide you through the confusing information and provide the perfect jewel for you.

Raymond Lee Jewelers takes pride in being the jeweler you can trust. Part of our mission statement includes this goal:

“Establishing a value system that provides for ethical practices to develop customer trust and loyalty will become an extension to the beliefs of all associates, management, and owners. Honesty in our dealings, integrity from using best practices, and an atmosphere of elegance and beauty will be indicative of the aspirations of all associated with Raymond Lee Jewelers and represent our standards for every customer to experience.”

The sparkling facets of your diamond should reflect the light of love and hope for the future. Being able to certify your diamond’s history gives you confidence to display your jewel without the shadow of conflict and suffering. Its clear depths and glittering reflections will enhance the setting you choose for this most precious gem.

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