Hacker Jewelers, Designers & Goldsmiths, Inc. is committed not only to avoid trading in conflict diamonds, but also to be at the forefront to help eliminate these illicit diamonds from the trade. We have aggressively pursued this fight for many years; well before most retail jewelers ever publicly acknowledged that the problem existed.
Since 1994, we have traveled regularly to Antwerp, Belgium to purchase most of our diamonds directly from major cutters and diamond traders. Several of these suppliers are De Beers sightholders, and inasmuch observe strict compliance with the Diamond Trading Company’s Best Practice Principles. The Belgian diamantaires who are not sightholders that we buy from are still large, integrated firms with firsthand knowledge of the source of their diamonds. We have also carried diamonds of Canadian origin since the late 1990’s in order to provide a viable option for our socially conscious customers.
Beginning in early 2001, we requested documentation from our diamond suppliers that the diamonds we purchase are from legitimate sources. Specifically, we asked for written assurance that our diamonds are in compliance with all measures and resolutions on the subject as adopted by the U.N. Security Council, the World Diamond Congress, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, and the U.S. government. We would be happy to show any interested party the portfolio we have maintained over the years with responses to our requests.
In order to fully disclose any and all possibilities, we would like to acknowledge that we do buy diamonds from estates and individuals. Of course, we have no way of ascertaining the origin of such diamonds. We do, however, keep detailed records of these purchases and are able to identify these diamonds from those purchased from our normal suppliers to any interested buyer in nearly all circumstances. Purchasing diamonds from individuals provides an important service to the community, and expands options available to our customers via our estate jewelry offerings. Further, “recycling” diamonds reduces the demand for newly mined diamonds.
In conclusion, we are deeply concerned about the trade in illicit diamonds. Even though measures taken within the trade have reduced the number of these diamonds to less than 1% of all industry-wide sales, we will not rest until conflict diamonds are eliminated entirely. We were initially shocked and saddened to learn of the atrocities which were financed by some diamond sales, and will refuse to allow the greed and lust for power of a few individuals further taint the industry. Rest assured that when you purchase a diamond from Hacker Jewelers, Designers & Goldsmiths, Inc., you are doing your part to fight this problem by thinking globally and acting locally.
In light of new reports by Human Rights Watch and others of blood diamonds specifically originating from Marange, Zimbabwe which have passed certification of the Kimberley Process and are being sold as “conflict free”, we have again started asking our diamond suppliers for assurances beyond those implied by the Kimberley Process. Further, we call upon the United Nations, the World Diamond Council, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, the Responsible Jewellery Council, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, and all other appropriate governmental and non-governmental agencies to renew their efforts to develop and implement an effective verification system which will finally stop blood diamonds from reaching the consumer marketplace.