By Michelle Graff
Washington.--Diamond traders and members of the industry should be on the lookout for a number of fake Kimberly Process certificates, warns the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.

In an alert sent out Friday, the department warned that in one recent scheme, individuals were invited to Sierra Leone to view rough diamonds later identified as fake stones. It was not immediately clear at press time of what material these “fake” diamonds were actually made.

The individuals also were provided with a fake KP certificate numbered Sierra Leone 004199, issued in either April or May of this year. Variations of this certificate SL 004199 have been presented to diamond purchasers in the last three weeks.

In the last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection also has identified fake KP certificates from Guinea, Ghana and Sierra Leone used to defraud people in an advance-fee scheme.

The criminals approached U.S. citizens on the Internet, telling them to buy the rough diamonds directly from West African sources and promising legitimate KP certificates.

The State Department is asking anyone who is presented with a fake KP certificate to contact U.S. Customs and Border Protection at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and the Department of State at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.