Five Myths About Diamonds

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Diamonds can be a key source of funding for violent conflicts in Africa. A series of wars bankrolled by "blood diamonds" in the 1990s prompted the United Nations to pressure De Beers and other jewelry industry giants to set up a program known as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme to track the origins of each stone and assure customers that their diamonds are free of the stains of war and misery. But late last month, a four-day Kimberly Process meeting in Tel Aviv foundered over the question of whether to approve the export of diamonds from the Marange fields of Zimbabwe, where torture and murder go unpunished and profits fund the repressive party of President Robert Mugabe.