The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB)
Founded in 1947 as a body that would unite diamond exchanges under one roof, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) came to provide a common set of trading practices for bourses trading in rough and polished diamonds, as well as coloured stones. As stated in the WFDB bylaws, “it is the aim of the world federation to participate in the promotion of world trade and to encourage the establishment of bourses, with the view of eventual affiliation of all centres where diamonds are actively traded”. The WFDB’s intention is that the individual bourses maintain their autonomy in all internal matters. But at the same time decisions made at the bourse level must comply with a general and dynamic legal framework that is ratified by the WFDB General Assembly. The General Assembly meets every two years at World Diamond Congresses. Currently, the WFDB counts among its member organisations twenty eight bourses, located in twenty countries on four continents, who together report a total individual membership of more than 15,000 diamond traders.
The World Federation’s Code of Principles, or WFCOP, is a set of better business principles, to which members of WFDB bourses who display the WFDB Mark are committed. The WFDB has been debating the various ethical issues affecting the diamond and gemstone industry for many years, and for just as long has been formulating policies to ensure that members of its bourses operate within an ethical framework. However, with the introduction of the WFDB Mark program in 2006, the WFDB formulated the WFCOP as a stand-alone document that clearly lists the conclusions drawn from the various relevant resolutions passed by the WFDB General Assembly. The WFCOP is made up of a preamble, which describes the ethical and moral obligations of a WFDB member, and an appendix, which lists the relevant resolutions passed by the organization. Issues addressed include HPHT treatments, conflict diamonds, synthetic diamonds, child labour, health conditions in the workplace, disclosure and non-disclosure, fracture filling, laser drilling, and the removal of laser inscriptions from a girdle.