The film “Blood Diamond,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, will be advertised in the fourth quarter of 2006. This will be a major movie release (scheduled January 12, 2007) will widespread publicity highlighting the story of Conflict Diamonds. Since the fourth quarter also is the key to diamond and jewelry retail sales, the jewelry industry is preparing an awareness campaign to prepare retailers for questions that consumers might ask about conflict diamonds.
The United Nations adopted the Kimberley Process in 2003 with the cooperation of the diamond industry and representatives of 45 countries to reduce the illegal trade of diamonds, which financed terrible wars since 1999 in countries like Sierra Leon and the Congo. Current estimates are that the Kimberley Process has curbed the illegal trade of the world’s rough diamonds from 4 percent in 1999 to 0.2 percent today.
The concern of the diamond industry with the DiCaprio film is that while it probably presents an accurate portrayal of the terror in Sierra Leone in 1999, it does not address what the industry has done and continues to do with eliminating this situation.
Retailers are encouraged to convey the message that 99.8% of diamonds on the market are not “conflict diamonds” and that diamond industry plays an important and positive role in the lives of industry related workers in many countries in Africa and around the world.