Rebuilding Trust: Diamonds from Liberia
Liberia is a country on the West African coast, populated by approximately 4.5 million people. Although relatively rich in minerals and precious metals, including diamonds, Liberia’s civil war from 1989 to 2003 has brought on serious allegations over the trade of conflict diamonds from neighboring Sierra Leone to finance the regime’s war against rebel fractions.
In 2001, the UN imposed sanctions on the Liberian diamond trade. After the descent of President Charles Taylor from power in 2003, there has been a gradual attempt to build a legitimate diamond industry. In 2007, Liberia was accepted as a member of the Kimberley Process, and the UN ban on Liberian diamond exports was lifted.
According to current KP figures, Liberia produced 65,822 carats in 2014 at a value of $28,175,134. This yielded an average of $428 per carat.