On Monday June 12, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) welcomed eight participants for a two-week course in rough diamond valuation: the "KP Technical Assistance Valuation Program". The course originates from the commitment of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), which coordinates requests for Technical Assistance on behalf of the Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM) in the framework of the KP. The participants work for KP authorities in four countries: Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
The technical course on rough diamond analysis and valuation practices also includes a theory course on best practices in the framework of the KP and a visit behind the scenes of the diamond industry. The objective is to ensure that the participants master all the operations necessary to start the valuation of rough diamonds (i.e. sorting, weighing, analysis) and, once this is established, to providing training in the valuation process itself. The course is being taught by Nicole Despiegelaere, a rough diamond expert who previously worked as a DTC valuator of large goods and as head of the sorting department of De Beers/Diamdel.
The key components of diamond valuation include assessing the characteristics of polished diamond(s) contained within a rough diamond (i.e. reverse engineering), marking, measuring and calculation of the yield, the use of polished diamonds price lists (for larger stones), calculating the value of a rough diamond, valuation of small stones with and without rough diamond price books and the use of technology and equipment. All of these skills will be addressed in the context of KP Best Practices, but there is no expectation that a 10-day course will produce fully qualified diamond valuators. Rather, the skills and practices learned will have to be applied and repeated by the participants in their home country.
AWDC’s objective in this regard, and as a member of the World Diamond Council, is to remain a reliable partner within the KP for the provision of Technical Assistance and the facilitation of capacity building. Proper valuation of rough diamonds for export is extremely important as it enables diamond producing countries to achieve the maximum revenue from their product, and serves as a deterrent to abusive practices whereby importers make exorbitant profits by purchasing rough under its market value. Eliminating such practices is the best way to ensure a level playing field. Consequently, AWDC has committed to organizing at least one KP Technical Assistance project annually, and has previously held successful training programs in Ivory Coast and Brazil.
The DDI believes the Kimberley Process can and should be about more than regulation. It must also add value to diamonds and to the communities and countries where they are mined and polished. Improved technical assistance, coordinated by DDI, as part of the ASM, is one way towards helping accomplish that. The AWDC has long been a contributor to the DDI. An estimated 16% of annual global rough diamond production comes from artisanal sources, involving between 1 and 1.5 million diggers.