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How unethical practices in the global diamond industry affect you

By Alan Martin

Why should the Canadian jewellery industry care about ethical challenges in the diamond supply that largely occur elsewhere in the world?

It’s a common question industry members ask me, many of whom feel insulated from the vulnerabilities of faraway and less stable or less governed jurisdictions.

With the rare exception of cases like last February’s arrest of a woman smuggling 10,000 diamonds through Pearson airport in Toronto, this is largely true.

Yet, while the Canadian industry—from miners through to manufacturers and retailers—may not directly contend with many of the reputational threats facing artisanal diamond producers in Africa or major trading centres like Antwerp or Dubai, they nonetheless share an industry. Reputational harm done elsewhere reverberates through the supply chain, sparking consumer concern and possible negative economic damage.

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