Development Diamond Standards™


Women at a mining site in Kono, Sierra Leone

Women at a mining site in Kono, Sierra Leone

Project at a glance:

Country Sierra Leone
Target Areas Kono District
Region Africa
Funder GIZ, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation
  • Artisanal Miners
  • Government of Sierra Leone
  • Jewelry industry
  • Consumers
Status Active
Sierra leone map

How it works:

Site Identification

  • Qualified sites identified
  • Enrolled in DDS program

Training and Compliance

  • Site operators and miners are trained on the DDS system and coached on implementation through direct (on site) and remote (call centre) support

Verification and Certification

  • Independent and random verification of each site takes place 2-3 times for certification on basic standards and progress standards

Development Diamond Export

  • Qualified buyers participate in transaction and export process of development diamonds

Chain of Custody

  • Certified sites ensure a chain of custody from production site to export
  • Qualified buyers ensure a chain of custody from export to retail

Expected Results:

By ensuring fair treatment and respect for artisanal miners, their communities and the environment, the Development Diamond StandardsTM (DDS) respond to consumer demand for “ethical” jewelry and the industry’s need for responsibly-mined diamonds.

Expected results include:

  • Diamonds produced with internationally desired and accepted norms and standards
  • Formalized mining operations
  • Reduction in child labour
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Fair payment for miners
  • Opportunities for responsible sourcing of rough diamonds from artisanal sector

Why this project is important:

Benefits to artisanal miners

Artisanal miners – the most vulnerable group of diamond miners – are the key stakeholders in the Development Diamond Standards™ system. Integrated into all aspects of mining operations, the Standards contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic conditions of miners by ensuring fair treatment and pricing and environmentally sustainable practices. In addition, the Development Diamond Standards™ empower miners to take their place in the responsible-sourcing supply chain, from mine to retail.

Benefits to local governments

The Development Diamond Standards™ can contribute significantly to the formalization of artisanal diamond mining in many countries. They are rooted in, complement, and enhance relevant laws and regulations in producing countries because the application of the standards is subject to audit, assessment and certification. As artisanally-sourced diamonds become part of the formal economy, they are traceable and taxable by the local government.

The Development Diamond Standards™ support the Kimberley Process (KP) Certification Scheme’s conflict-free and internal controls requirements, while also helping countries go beyond KP standards to focus on environmental and social practices.

Benefits to industry and consumers

The Development Diamond Standards™ provide the only dedicated certification system for artisanal diamond production. By connecting the supply chain from source to retail, DDS provides the diamond and jewelry industry with diamonds that carry third-party certification of responsible sourcing, and consumers with the assurance that their diamond was responsibly-sourced and contributed to a community’s development.

The Development Diamond Standards™