Diamonds are coveted and highly sought-after jewels. Their history, however, has not always been pretty. In the past, many were mined in countries devastated by war, murders and corruption. In nations like Sierra Leone, the mining and selling of uncut diamonds funded a 10-year civil war where thousands were killed, leaving the country agriculturally and economically devastated.
Throughout the 1990s, impoverished people worked the diamond mines throughout Africa and in times of civil war, were sometimes managed by child soldiers fueled by abuse and narcotics. According to DiamondFacts.org, “conflict diamonds represented approximately 4% of the world’s diamond production.”
Since 2000, because of work done by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the U.N., the blood diamond market slowed and now only represents 1% of the market. A zero tolerance policy enacted around the globe helped reduce the number of conflict diamonds mined and sold — and now, due to the Kimberley Process Certification System — buyers can ensure what they buy was not mined illegally.
Sierra Leone, however, is still struggling to find stability and jobs for citizens as the diamond supply there depletes. Political leaders fear their people will turn to crime and many abandoned mines left scars across the landscape of the country, which soon filled with stagnant water, a breeding ground for malaria-infected mosquitoes, which has become an enormous national health issue.
Learn more about the history of blood diamonds and why they were used to finance violence and inhumane working conditions across Africa in the quiz below.
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Where does the term blood diamond originate?
The violence associated with the mining, procurement and selling of the commodity.
Which term is not typically associated with the blood diamond?
Every term but Death Diamond can refer to blood diamonds.
Which continent faces the most problems with blood diamonds?
Africa has a history of violence assocaited with the diamond trade.
Typically, blood diamonds are mined for small amounts of money and sold for large sums. This country financed a civil war with blood diamonds from 1974-200. Name it.
Angola. Though both the Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone have struggled with civil war, Angolas civil war, whose rebels were financed by selling blood diamonds led to a ban on the purchase of diamond from Angola by the U.N.
Which of these countries is NOT known for mining blood diamonds?
Nigeria is not known for selling conflict diamonds.
What is the Kimberly Process?
The Kimberly Process is a U.N. sanctioned certification process that verifies the origin of rough diamonds.
How long was the civil war in Sierra Leone that terrorized millions of people for the control of the diamond mines?
Ten Years. According to DiamondFacts.org: Between 1991 and 2002, the country suffered a brutal, ten-year civil war during which the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) committed horrendous atrocities, terrorizing the population and gaining control of the countrys diamond mines.
Blood diamonds… yea.. people wanna buy their wives a ring with one of those on it.