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20 Years of the Kimberley Process: Achievements & Challenges

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2023 – on the tail of several formative years for the diamond industry at large. This article will give you an up-to-date look at where things stand and what to expect as global market standards shift.

Background and Scope of the Kimberley Process

The Kimberley Process was established in 2003 to regulate the global diamond trade and ensure diamonds purchased worldwide are conflict-free. Today, it includes 85 countries representing 99.8% of global diamond production. Member nations of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme are expected to meet several requirements for domestic diamond production. 

For example, it asserts that rough diamonds must be shipped in tamper-proof containers. They must also be exported with a Kimberley Process Certificate to prove the rough diamonds have not aided in any rebel movements. Additionally, participants must have other national legislative and institutional safeguards in place to ensure the transparency of their diamond trade practices.

The Kimberley Process: Achievements Since 2003

The Kimberley Process’ stringent measures against conflict diamonds have successfully limited their trade and diminished the revenues of rebel groups. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, legal diamond exports increased from $10 million in 2000 to over $140 million in 2005, two years after the Process was implemented.

Meanwhile, the proportion of so-called “blood diamonds” produced in the sector continues to decline, from heights of four to 15 percent during the height of Congo, Angola, and Sierra Leone’s civil wars to where it can currently be assumed to be at less than 0.2 percent of global production as of 2023.

Not only does this system keep practices ethical and transparent, but it also protects the interests of legitimate diamond producers. Transparency makes tracing diamonds from mine to market easier while empowering consumers to make informed decisions when buying jewelry and other diamond-containing products. That confidence leads to higher demand and a more prosperous diamond industry overall.

How the Kimberley Process is Shaping the Future of the Diamond Trade

Despite certain challenges, it’s clear that initiatives like the Kimberley Process have made a big difference in shaping the diamond trade by simply existing. 

Ethical Consumer Habits

Whether on climate change or business ethics, bringing conversations to the forefront of the world stage creates awareness of essential topics, at the very least. Over the past few years alone, we’ve seen a growing understanding of ethical consumer habits among the public, and even action from the United Nations.

Committing to Further Sustainability

Diamond houses are announcing commitments to further sustainability and transparency across their operations, recognizing that expectations will likely continue tightening. KPCS membership has also been expanding, with new members shining a light on corners of the industry that may have been overlooked.


Technology presents a promising potential solution for enhancing the integrity of programs like the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. A new blockchain concept known as ‘diamond traceability’ stores a record of each diamond’s characteristics in a digital ledger, with all data secured and made available to verify the legitimacy of rough and polished diamonds

Emerging technologies like AI and machine learning are also being harnessed to detect conflict diamonds better. Smart contracts are being developed to ensure more secure payments and even greater trust between buyers and sellers.

Let’s Keep the Diamond Industry Ethical

Ultimately, the success and adoption of initiatives against conflict diamonds depend heavily on collaboration between stakeholders, including diamond houses, governments, and non-government organizations. Diamond manufacturing companies, including Choron, benefit from sourcing diamonds from reliable sources today to insulate themselves from tomorrow’s risk. 

Choron Group is proud to lead the diamond industry with accessible, sustainable sourcing solutions for natural diamonds worldwide. Through partnerships with industry leaders like Burgundy Diamond Mines, De Beers and SODIAM, we offer ethically sourced diamonds from nations adhering to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. This ensures our clients a consistent supply of conflict-free diamonds.

Clients trust us for our commitment to sustainability and transparency, from ensuring responsibly mined diamonds come out of countries with clean diamond policies, to providing clear and accurate information on each stone’s origin, history, and value.

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