That last part was a joke, but also kind of true, and no one wants that kind of thing on their conscience. Public outcry for the diamond industry to change its ways could not be ignored. So, in 2000, South African diamond-producing states met up in Kimberley, South Africa, to discuss ways to stop the flow of blood diamonds into the legitimate gem market. What they came up with is called the Kimberley Process.
If you look on the "Ethics" page of any diamond retailer these days, you'll see the Kimberley Process mentioned within the first paragraph, guaranteed. You're also likely to read fantastical tales about how the process is responsible for ensuring that, in today's retail diamond market, a whopping 99 percent of the stones are conflict-free.
Nothing breaks up the monotony of a wall of text like a picture of more text.
When it comes to addressing an industry-wide issue, those are pretty impressive results. Unfortunately, those results are a total sham.
You see, there's a fairly ridiculous flaw (ha) in the Kimberley Process. Basically, any diamond that isn't used to fund the rebel side of an armed conflict is considered clean. In other words, if you're the head of a brutal African dictatorship and you want to fund your atrocities through the diamond trade, that's perfectly fine. The aforementioned Global Witness pulled out of the Kimberley Process after the decision was made to certify diamonds from the Marange region of Zimbabwe, recently the scene of mass killings by the national army, as conflict-free.
Even if every diamond that was even tangentially involved in an armed conflict of any sort was taken off the market, the Kimberley Process doesn't take things like slavery or human-trafficking into account. If you dig deep enough to find where the various diamond retailers stand on that issue, a search made slightly easier by the fact that one company owns damn near every jewelry store you can name off the top of your head ...
The choice is yours!
... you'll find that they're far less certain about their ability to ensure that no slavery or human-trafficking makes it onto the ingredients list of your engagement ring.