World Diamond Retail

Diamonds have been used throughout history as a symbol to express emotions - love, affection and commitment and are often given to celebrate special occasions that are also unique, such as weddings, births and anniversaries. In many cultures diamonds are considered to be the ultimate jewel.

Diamonds are desirable to consumers because they:

  • Hold deep emotional meaning
  • Are one of the Earth's most precious creations
  • Are unique, just like the person wearing them
  • Were born at the beginning of time and will last for eternity

The best quality diamonds in terms of colour and clarity are distributed to the gem market with an accompanying Kimberley Process certificate to prove that they are from conflict free sources.

The Kimberley Process is a certification system that prevents diamonds from an area of conflict entering the legitimate diamond supply chain. The Kimberley Process ensures that only rough diamonds accompanied by a government-issued certificate can be imported and exported, providing an assurance that the diamonds are from conflict free sources. Under this United Nations mandated system, only countries that are part of the Kimberley Process can import or export rough diamonds. Today, 74 countries are members of the Kimberley Process, ensuring that more than 99% of diamonds are from conflict free sources. Anyone who imports or exports rough diamonds between these countries without a Kimberley Process certificate is breaking the law. In addition to the Kimberley Process, the System of Warranties was developed by the World Diamond Council (WDC) to extend the Kimberley Process conflict free assurance to polished diamonds and provide a means by which consumers can be assured their diamonds are from conflict free sources. Its principal element is a declaration on the invoice accompanying every transaction (apart from the transaction directly to the consumer) of polished diamonds that declares the diamonds are ‘not involved in funding conflict and are in compliance with United Nations resolutions'. The System of Warranties provides assurance that diamonds are from conflict free sources all the way to the diamond jewellery retailer.

Jewellery manufacturing
Wholesalers or manufacturers buy relatively small amounts of unset, polished diamonds. Wholesalers sell these to jewellery designers, manufacturers or retailers. Manufacturers will produce diamond jewellery designed and commissioned by a retailer or other jewellery designer. They may also create jewellery, designed by in-house teams, and sold direct to retailers. The System of Warranties is used as a declaration on the invoice for each transaction of polished diamonds to assure industry purchasers and consumers that their diamonds are from conflict free sources.

The final stage of the diamond pipeline is when diamond jewellery is sold by retailers to the consumer. The value of diamond jewellery sold each year is approximately US$72 billion, which includes the cost of the diamonds, precious metals and other gems. The USA represents the largest market followed by emerging markets of India and China.