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Global Witness backed out of kimberly process?

Did everyone hear about this? Global Witness has backed out of the
Kimberly Process due to continued human rights abuses.

How do you all feel about this? Personally, I’m one of those
idealistic, save-the-world types. Consequently, I’ve avoided using
diamonds in my pieces because of the human rights issues. (I also
feel that DeBeers is the most evil corporation on the planet). But
I’m also an art jewelry person & a student so I can avoid them. If I
start working as a bench jeweler, I wouldn’t be able to do that.

It makes me wonder why there isn’t any marketing of synthetic
diamonds to jewelry people. Or is there & I’ve just missed it? (I’m
referring specifically to synthetics being marketed as synthetics,
not synthetics passed off as natural.)

Not trying to start a fight or anything, just curious.

Artist, Metalsmith, Chaos Magnet

Hi Sharon

High ideals which I cannot disagree with but after 50 years in the
business I have to admit that working with diamonds has been the
most lucrative aspect of my work.


I feel it was doomed to failure from the beginning. It was a valiant
effort but as we’ve seen in other situations, using economics to
sway social issues always has unintended consequences.

Search for n.death diamonds on the internet. Very nice synthetic

Rasmussen Gems & Jewelry LLC

As stated, the human rights abuses are by a government of an
independent nation so falls outside the remit of the Kimberley
process. The problem with synthetic diamonds is they are not natural
diamonds and so will never receive the same level of appreciation by
the public as natural diamonds. Who would spend a small fortune on a
piece of jewellery knowing that is centre piece has no intrinsic
value? You can choose to make your jewellery using whatever material
you choose but the purchaser will determine whether you have made
the correct business decision.

As for De Beers being the most evil corporation on the planet, well I
can think of many that are worse. You will grow out of these feelings
when you have to make a living.

Nick Royall

Sharon- CZs have filled the “synthetic” diamond market for years.
Yes there are genuine synthetic diamonds, but they are not being
manufactured in large enough quantities to be marketable. They’ve
been around for decades.

I suspect that the cost of manufacture makes it not viable for
resale and the desire for “real” jewelry makes them less desirable.

Diamonds are just carbon. That’s all. The most common thing in the

De Beers just cornered the market on them. That business model is
pretty much over now. They used to own and control 90% of the
diamonds. Now in just the last few years they’ve gone down to about
30% of the market. The EU rules about monopolies, the desire for
diamond merchants to do business as they wish, and the end of the
Soviet Union changed all of that. The Oppenheimer family just this
last year sold out their interest in De Beers.

If you want a really truly evil corporation try Blackwater or

They make De Beers look like choir boys.

There are plenty of ethically sourced ston es out there, both
diamonds and colored stones. You just have to hunt a little harder
for them. My friend Eric Braunwart of Columbia Gem House in Vancouver
Washington has made quite a mark in the stone trade with his
transparent process stone buying. He has been pushing environmentally
and politically friendly gems for some time now. Yes the Kimberly
process is deeply flawed. However many very important folks in the
trade are doing their best to bring these flaws to the public and are
trying hard to change it.

If you desire to make a decent living at being a jeweler it’ll be a
whole lot easier to do that by dealing with precious stones and
metals. If you desire to change the world for the better, I like to
send money to

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

(I also feel that DeBeers is the most evil corporation on the

If any of you ever have a chance, go to a DeBeers outlet store.
There’s on in a Virginia mall that I visited a couple years ago.
Their diamonds are so incredibly beautiful! I had eyegasms!

Search for n.death diamonds on the internet. Very nice synthetic 

Methinks you meant d.nea diamonds . Their wholesale site is at, yes they have nice colored
diamonds in blue, yellow and orange that are as grown, they also
offer other colors where the stones have been irradiated to get
green, red, pink etc. They also have white stones but they are not
really a bargain in comparison to natural stones, a little less but
not a lot. They say that it is harder to grow the white ones fwiw.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts

Dear Sharon,

It makes me wonder why there isn't any marketing f synthetic
diamonds to jewelry people. Or is there & I've just missed it?
(I'm referring specifically to synthetics being marketed as
synthetics, not synthetics passed off as natural.) 

To be specific, a synthetic is by definition exactly the same
chemically and atomically as any natural gem material. Any stone that
is represent= ing any gem material but is not chemically or
atomically the same should correctly be called an imitation. Of
course, imitations are often synthetic gem materials used to
represent another gem material.

Happy holidays,

Hi Sharon,

Why aren’t you looking at Canadian diamonds?


click on apollo diamonds they are technically lab grown diamonds
technically are grown as pearls are grown in controlled
environments. APOLLO has a united states patent the process is using
a NATURAL SEED diamond and placing it in a machine that helps grow
the PERFECTLY FORMED CARBON crystals. Their selling point was they
can create in the lab what took nature thousands of years. One
Apollo diamond takes several weeks/months to make depending on size,
and the quality ranges from vs to vvs. APOLLO diamonds are 30%
cheaper than natural diamonds, these come in fancy colors as well.
the man who created the company was featured in “Wired” magazine as
well as on news programs for the process, in actuality the DE BEERS
company sued APOLLO DIAMONDS because DeBeers couldn’t test the
Apollo there is no difference in the make up of either substrate.
What is so controversial is that a new technology had to be made to
catch up with APOLLO diamonds to be able to test the diamond to tell
the difference between them and a say for example DeBeers.

I love this story it’s cool it’s about the little company in Boston
started by a computer geek that took on the Monster DeBeers and is
winning!!! FURTHERMORe: during the DeBeers VS Apollo company
lawsuit the CEO’s of APOLLO DIAMONDS – Robert Linares, & Bryant
Linares recieved death threats as well. The Apollo company has the
goal of the use of the diamonds is for the manufacture of
superconductors and computer mother boards, the retail end of the
"Lab or APOLLO created diamond is to raise money for making

This is a statement by the company:

Apollo Diamonds

Apollo Diamonds is based in Boston, Massa-chusetts, while the other
manufacturer, Gemesis, is located in Sarasota, Florida; they employ
entirely different technologies. Apollo Diamonds uses an entirely
different technology, called chemical vapour deposition (CVD).

Apollo Diamond produces nearly flawless single crystal diamond
wafers and crystals for the optoelectronics, nanotechnology, and
consumer gem markets.

Apollo Diamond, Inc., harnesses the natural growth of diamond to
broaden access to the world’s highest quality material. The high
level of purity of Apollo Diamond’s material offers new
opportunities for uses of diamond in areas previously unattainable,
forever changing how the world uses diamond.

Apollo Diamond grows 100% diamond crystals that match or exceed the
purity and beauty of the finest naturally mined diamond gemstones in
the world.

Apollo created diamonds are low nitrogen type IIa crystals that are
grown as water white crystals. They also can be grown in light pink,
blue or jet black colors.

‘Apollo diamonds are too thin, and they are brown to grey. After
production Apollo diamonds they need expensive HPHT processing to
remove the color. Unfortunately, journalists often present
sensational materials without consulting true experts.’ from

I have to take exception to the statements about CZ ( Cubic
Zirconium ). First it is not a SYNTHETIC Diamond but a Diamond
SIMULATION. A Synthetic in gemstone terms is the same chemical
composition and physical characteristics as the natural. This
material is Lab grown under very exacting conditions. A Simulation
is a stone that is made to look like something that it is not. an
example would by glass with a blue color being sold as a sapphire.

Second CZ is very plentiful and cheap. If you want finished goods
just look at some place like Rio Grande jewelry supply. If you want
rough to cut yourself you might try and check out all the
colors they have. Or you could just go on line and query cz rough.
John (Jack) Sexton The most precious things in life cannotbe built
by hand or bought by man.


Your heart is in the right place. Unfortunately the Kimberly Process
was/is a scam that made existing dictators of these troubled African
countries even richer and more powerful than they were. It also put
De Beers back on top for awhile, as they bought a large portion of
the production.

They, the KP org., gave it a feel good name, and people who didn’t
know Africa supported it. However, the people who dig suffer just as
they did before. This is nothing new. Slavery and abuse abound in the
"developing" world, and always has. This includes China and India,
from where US jewelers get a lot of their goods.

American and European manufacturers tried to use Kimberly in their
business only to lose to Asian manufacturers in the world markets.
Unfortunately, it is all about cost.

Artist jewelers, like members of this forum, do not constitute
enough force in the market to change the diamond industry.

This is a complicated issue though, and should not be reduced down
to the political likes of some respondents discussing Haliburton?
Really? How about Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac? Those evil institutions
have impacted my business far more than Blackwater!

Just sayin,

John- I wrote…

CZs have filled the “synthetic” diamond market for years. Yes there
are genuine synthetic diamonds, but they are not being manufactured
in large enough quantities to be marketable. They’ve been around for
decades. I suspect that the cost of manufacture makes it not viable
for resale and the desire for “real” jewelry makes them less

I know that they are not synthetic diamonds. Thus the quote marks. I
just said that they filled the market for synthetics not that they
actually were synthetic. The kind of folks who would buy a synthetic
diamond,(if they were plentiful and cheep), have been buying CZs
because they fill the need of bling without cost.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

Sorry it took so long for me to get back to this. I got caught up
with Finals (being both a student & an instructor, I get all the fun
of juggling both sides of the equation) & then was traveling (Dear
Amtrak- get wifi.) By the time I got back to reading e-mail, the
whole thing was buried in my inbox.

First, I’d like to thank you for the info on ethically-sourced gems-
that’s exactly the kind of thing I’ve been looking for. I remember
the Wired article about Apollo but couldn’t remember the name of the
company. And last I’d heard, DeBeers had taken over the Canadian

Part of why I thought there might be more of a market for created
diamonds is that there’s a “fair trade” movement in the US for just
about everything now. There’s even a push for ethically mined gold,
thanks to things like the No Dirty Gold campaign. Personally, I don’t
think a natural gemstone has any greater intrinsic value than an
identical created stone, largely because the value we place on gems
isn’t intrinsic at all. Like gold, they have the value we give them &
diamonds cost as much as they do because of savvy marketing & an
artificially created scarcity.

As for why I think DeBeers is evil, it’s because I think
destabilizing the governments of third-world nations just to get a
better profit margin is absolutely heinous, particularly when that
item is strictly a luxury item. That doesn’t mean companies like
Haliburton, Blackwater/KBR, CitiCorp, etc. aren’t right up there as a
close second & also pretty terrible-- generally speaking, I’m not a
fan of any company that are willing to destroy people’s lives & the
environment so they can make more money. I’d thought that the
Kimberly Process had improved things until my Prof gave me a lecture
on the subject last summer. Still, a government exploiting its people
instead of a militia isn’t fundamentally different from a human
rights standpoint so I completely understand Global Witness’ protest.

I’m amused by the people who seemed to think I’d basically grow out
of my concerns. Yes, I’m a student but I’m a non-traditional one who
came back to school to change careers. I do know what the real world
is like. After all, I’m about to turn 40 in March & have thus far run
two small businesses, had a career in social services, etc.
Admittedly, I’m still not sure how I got to be almost 40 as I
certainly don’t feel like it but there it is.

Thanks, everyone! :slight_smile:

Artist, Metalsmith, Chaos Magnet