In the past decades, private actors have become key actors in regulation and enforcement of various forms of trade. In this paper, we focus on the role of private actors in the regulation of the trade in diamonds and caviar. We examine the stages of calling for additional regulation; setting regulatory requirements; and determining and effectuating compliance mechanisms. Our analysis illustrates that private actors may play important roles in this process, but at the same time be unaware of loopholes that illegal operators may exploit, whereas others may commit crimes themselves. These dual roles reflect the various activities of private actors in different representations. We argue in this article that the increased involvement of private actors in processes of regulation may not only benefit but also constrain the effectivity, competence and meaning of such regulatory frameworks within contemporary society.