Blood Diamonds – How Do You Know?

The storyplot of blood diamonds is basically pretty simple, but just the term blood diamonds brings up horrendous images of people who have been subjected to unthinkable acts forced on them by their own countrymen. I am going to use the term, blood diamonds, in order to refer to diamonds brought to market during the bloody civil war that happened in Sierra Leone throughout the 90’s and that finally came to an end in 2002. The amount of blood diamonds produced during this time period was a relatively small amount in comparison to overall world production but it was enough to be a part of the funding for the rebels.

a bit of background…
I will simplify the story a bit in order to give some background to what led up to this unfortunate period of the human race. Sierra Leone was a British colony that acquired independence in the early 60’s. Sierra Leone started off on its independence pretty well, because it had a relatively great infrastructure and it had already been mining diamonds since the 1930’s. In the late 60’s, a prime minister by name of Siaka Stevens came into office. He proceeded to run the nation into the ground until he great successor were finally out of workplace by 1992. It was in the past due 80’s and early 90’s that the anti-government group, the ruf, had been formed. For the next 4 yrs, there was an ineffectual string of corrupt military people running the nation. It was during this period that the ruf joined the diamond producing area of far eastern Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone’s expensive diamonds are alluvial in nature… Alluvial diamonds are deposits of diamonds found in lowlands areas, in old river beds, in the beds associated with streams and shallow rivers. Diamond jewelry are formed deep in the world and come to the surface by way of volcanic eruptions and the resulting mountain of cooled lava ends up being eroded away by rain. The diamond rough is washed away and ends up in alluvial deposits. Most alluvial diamonds are usually found between a number of feet to 20 feet beneath the surface. Relatively little capital in support of basic technology (shovels, sieves, and muscles) are required to mine alluvial diamonds. These alluvial diamond mining areas are easily controlled by armed thugs.

In 1995, a group of “gunslingers” from south Africa, called executive outcomes, had been hired and they cleaned up the issue of the ruf being in the diamond fields. The un stepped within, elections were held in mil novecentos e noventa e seis, and a former un official, Ahmad Tejan Kebbah, was elected the new president. Executive outcomes was asked to leave and in short order, the diamond producing area of Kono was again taken over by the ruf.

A horrible period in history!
it was at this stage that the ruf began the horrendous act of cutting off people’s hands!!!! Why?… Because they had the very best during the recent election! Amputations were designed to terrorize the population and it has been very effective. It wasn’t however a good action directly related to the diamond mining operations. It is the image of these types of brutal acts that has been forever linked to “blood diamonds”.

During the following 6 year period, the ruf collaborated with another thug, Charles Taylor swift, who was pillaging Sierra Leone’s across the street neighbor, Liberia. Together the 2 organizations were interested in power and might kill or terrorize anyone who got in their way. Blood diamonds was part of their economic and terror campaign. It finally came to the head, after the ruf had get freetown and went on a nightmarish killing spree. The British after that sent commandos into Sierra Leone to settle the situation in 2002.

People of Sierra Leone are trying to move ahead but…
people became aware of the particular blood diamond situation, they required action, the civil war ended in 2002 and now the people associated with Sierra Leone have moved on and they are trying to rebuild their country. An important funding source of their rebuilding efforts comes from the money brought in from diamond mining.

There are people in the jewellery business who are trying to make the circumstance better for everyone… Most notably, martin rapaport. There are 2 videos embedded on my website that explain a few of the actions that are beginning to take place.

Becoming politically correct is never recommended…
there are people who are not helping the situation of the Africans trying to modernize their countries. Some politically correct individuals, the “blood diamond Nazis”, are usually railing against the concept of anyone purchasing or owning a diamond because within their minds they see horrible atrocities every time that they look at any diamonds, they see “blood diamonds”. It has become their mission to distribute the word by disseminating out dated specifics that are not correct and it is these “facts” that do a lot of harm to the particular millions of people in these emerging countries. These types of “blood diamond Nazis” will not relax until everyone stops purchasing plus wearing diamonds. They are ultimately harming the Africans that they claim they may be trying to help.

There are some suppliers associated with diamonds and diamond simulants which are taking advantage of everyone’s disdain of the concept of blood diamonds by promoting the truth that it is their products that are the alternative to blood diamonds… Most notably the people that sell diamond simulants (cubic zirconia or moissanite) or who market “ethical diamonds” from regions other than africa. In addition , there are some organizations that will still want to keep the idea of blood diamonds alive in people’s thoughts… They do this mostly for finance raising purposes-
— “you will help put a stop to blood diamonds by sending in your donation now!? ”
— “attention webmasters!, make a donation to the effort and you can put this “stop blood diamonds! ” Logo on your own website to show your visitors that you actually care about the people of sierra Leone! ”
When you go to these groups’ web sites… Their “up to date” research material about blood diamonds is definitely from 1998 to 2001 and some of the information even dates back to 1982.

It is unbelievable that some individuals are using images of sierra Leone amputees to promote buying Canadian “ethical diamonds”, or to promote buying gemstone stimulants, or used for fund increasing purposes. Anytime you see these images be aware that these people are trying to manipulate a person at the same time that they are helping only themselves and not helping the people in the photos! These people, the “not for profit” ngos and the for profit businesses, they want you to believe that there is presently a blood bath going on within parts of Africa and this situation may totally be blamed on conflict diamonds. I have never seen a photo or a video of, or heard a report about a piece of diamond rough picking up a rifle and killing someone. People did all of these horrible things to other people.

Where do we all go from here?
Sierra Leone’s battle is over, sierra Leone’s blood gemstones are in the past. The amount of “conflict diamonds” only accounts for 0. 02% associated with yearly worldwide diamond production… This would make it extremely unlikely that you’d probably ever encounter a conflict diamond! If you looked at one diamond per day, every single day, it would take 13. 7 years before you would come across the conflict diamond… I guess it’s comparable chance of getting struck by super!

Today, the African people require the rest of the world to look at diamonds because things of beauty and for individuals to feel good about diamonds! To motivate people to not buy any diamonds or to discriminate against African diamonds in favor of “ethical diamonds” from non-African countries does not help the people in Africa build hospitals, roads, plus schools.

Several years ago, I had the honour of hearing a speech from Erkki Nghimtina, Namibian minister of mines and energy. I known back to my notes, along with several informational handouts from the speech… And here is the African’s current view of the diamond trade-

“Every diamond not purchased is a missed chance with regard to Africa – a missed opportunity to send more children to college, build more clinics and hospitals, and continue the fight against hiv/aids. Our challenge is to work together to strengthen the continent’s diamond business so that we can better provide for our own people, enabling us all to share the brighter future. ”

Bud Boland has been in the jewelry business intended for 40 years and has done everything from watchmaking, diamond setting, jewelry making, and has already been a Gemologist for nearly 35 yrs. He is a Graduate Gemologist from GIA, which is also the place where he was obviously a Resident Diamond Instructor. He has taught about diamonds to hundreds of learners from all around the world. He is currently committed to producing the only diamond buying guide anyone would ever need… unbiased advice from inside of the jewellery business
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