Friday, July 25, 2014
In the movie Blood Diamonds, Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) witnessed his country Sierra Leone plunged into a civil war between government loyalists and rebel factions. Beyond the differing ideologies, ethnicities, and religious undertones, at the heart of the conflict lay the rich diamond mines of the country. Whoever controls the country controls this high-value trade. Although the movie is fictional, it highlights the issue of the diamond trade funding the warlords’s war and their atrocities, including one that almost got Vandy: amputation of the hand to prevent the people from voting. To ensure diamond jewellers are not unwittingly supporting atrocious rebel factions, the United Nations created the Kimberly Process, a program that prohibits the purchase of diamonds coming from areas of conflict. Today, a number of diamond signatures including Roberto Coin support this U.N. programme, ensuring that the Cento ring you’re wearing didn’t support any atrocities.
Cento is available at Shreve & Co. in Portland, Oregon.