Kimberley Process Explained: How Does it Impact the Diamond Trade?

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) stands as a pivotal measure in the global effort to eradicate the trade of conflict diamonds. Established in 2003, this initiative aims to prevent the exploitation of diamonds for funding conflicts and human rights abuses in regions where they are mined. But what exactly does the Kimberley Process entail, and how does it relate to lab-grown diamonds?

What is the Kimberley Process?

At its core, what is the Kimberley Process is an international certification scheme that regulates the trade of rough diamonds. It requires participating countries to ensure that diamond shipments are accompanied by a certificate guaranteeing that they are conflict-free. These certificates, known as Kimberley Process Certificates, are issued by participating governments and are meant to certify that the diamonds being traded do not finance rebel movements or armed conflict.

The Purpose of the Kimberley Process

The primary objective of the Kimberley Process is to eliminate the trade in conflict diamonds, thereby breaking the link between diamonds and conflict.implementing stringent regulations and monitoring mechanisms, the initiative aims to safeguard the integrity of the diamond supply chain and promote ethical practices within the industry. This, in turn, helps to protect the livelihoods of millions of people whose lives depend on the diamond trade, while also preserving the reputation of the diamond industry as a whole.

How Does the Kimberley Process Work?

The Kimberley Process operates through a system of internal controls and external monitoring, overseen by a series of committees and working groups. Participating countries are required to establish national authorities responsible for issuing Kimberley Process Certificates and ensuring compliance with the scheme’s regulations. These authorities are tasked with verifying the origin of rough diamonds and preventing the entry of conflict diamonds into the legitimate market.

Challenges and Criticisms

While the Kimberley Process has made significant strides in curbing the trade of conflict diamonds, it is not without its challenges and criticisms. Critics argue that the scheme’s definition of conflict diamonds is too narrow, allowing certain types of human rights abuses, such as forced labor and child labor, to go unchecked. Additionally, the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process has been called into question due to instances of non-compliance and loopholes in the certification process.

Lab-Grown Diamonds and the Kimberley Process

In recent years, the emergence of lab grown diamonds has raised questions about their inclusion in the Kimberley Process. Unlike natural diamonds, which are mined from the earth, lab-grown diamonds are created in a controlled environment using advanced technology. As such, they do not pose the same risks as conflict diamonds and are not subject to the Kimberley Process certification requirements.


The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme plays a crucial role in the global effort to eliminate the trade of conflict diamonds and promote ethical practices within the diamond industry. While it faces challenges and criticisms, the initiative remains a cornerstone of international efforts to ensure that diamonds are sourced responsibly and do not contribute to human rights abuses or armed conflict. As the industry continues to evolve, it is essential to adapt the Kimberley Process to address emerging issues such as the rise of lab-grown diamonds and the need for greater transparency and accountability in the diamond supply chain.