The World Diamond Council (WDC) will stay its course focused on the primary mission to curb the trade in conflict diamonds under new acting president Stephane Fischler, who assumed the reigns on July 1 after the resignation of Andrey Polyakov, writes Henry Lazenby for Mining Weekly Online. Mr. Fischler will serve in this capacity until the end of the term of this board on May 1 2018, at which time he will start his two year term as WDC President.
“‘A Game of Stones’ documents these facts not to harm the diamond trade in CAR, but to ensure they are confronted rather than ignored. It acknowledges - and tentatively welcomes - the efforts of the Kimberley Process and the government of CAR, but warns of risks that must be acknowledged and dealt with if genuine reform is to be achieved. It seeks to expose those who view the country’s current troubles as a business opportunity, while urging greater support for those seeking to mend them, including from international diamond companies."
- Global Witness, in statement to National Jeweler on CAR diamond smuggling report, says the trade needs to be responsible.
The World Diamond Council (WDC), an industry group focused on preventing conflict diamonds from entering the global supply chain and protecting the value of natural diamonds, reaffirmed in a press release today its commitment to the Central African Republic (CAR). The statement reads: The WDC supports the efforts in preventing the trade of conflict diamonds originating from CAR and stresses the collaboration of intergovernmental organizations and civil society groups to monitor the situation on the ground.
The World Diamond Council (WDC), an industry group focused on removing conflict diamonds from the global supply chain and protecting the value of natural diamonds, today announced that current president Andrey Polyakov will be resigning by the end of the week. Current WDC Vice President Stephane Fischler will become acting President effective July 1, 2017. Mr Fischler will serve in this capacity until the end of the term of this Board, at which time he will start his two year term as WDC President.
For the last two weeks, representatives of four African diamond-producing countries (Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia) have been participating in the "KP Technical Assistance Valuation Program" put together by the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) and Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). We spoke with organizers and participants about the rough diamond valuation course itself and what it means for the participants and their respective governments.
On Monday June 12, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) welcomed eight participants for a two-week course in rough diamond valuation: the "KP Technical Assistance Valuation Program". The course originates from the commitment of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), which coordinates requests for Technical Assistance on behalf of the Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM) in the framework of the KP. The participants work for KP authorities in four countries: Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F) raised over $1,060,000 to provide scholarships and assistance to empower young people globally at a special ‘Diamonds Do Good’ Awards Gala held in Las Vegas on the eve of the opening of the JCK trade show. Anna Martin, D.E.F President and V.P Global Develompent and Beneficiation, GIA, said: “This event symbolizes the collective good the diamond and jewelry industry continues to do in communities around the world where they do business.
According to the Diamond Empowerment Fund their new millennial oriented campaign ‘Diamonds do Good’ had reached three million consumers within their target group. The strategy to spread the word on the campaign includes a revamped website, a targeted media plan which is shared on Hulu, Pandora and YouTube, and an online influencer strategy. DEF said the message of ‘Diamonds Do Good’ is resonating with consumers.
To elevate the KP to the next level of effectiveness, we must look beyond administrative issues and make sure that responsibility and expertise go hand-in-hand in the coming years. We took a strong step forward in this regard at the meeting by rigorously and constructively questioning all aspects related to the origin of the diamond product that consumers ultimately purchase. It is in all of our best interests to continue this productive dialogue so that we can continue to deliver on our promise to eradicate conflict diamonds from the supply chain.
De Beers Group has announced it is leading a ground-breaking research project that aims to deliver carbon-neutral mining at some of the company’s operations in as few as five years. The company’s scientists are working in close collaboration with a team of internationally-renowned scientists to investigate the potential to store large volumes of carbon at its diamond mines through the mineralisation of kimberlite ‘tailings’, the material that remains after diamonds have been removed from the ore. De Beers Group will investigate the storage potential across its diamond mines globally.
Australia’s term as Chair of the Kimberley Process kicked off today at the KP Intersessional Meeting in Perth, which runs from May 1 – 4. The focus of this year’s meeting is the start of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) review cycle in order to strengthen the Kimberley Process.
The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, established to preserve the world’s most treasured land- and seascapes, granted University of Delaware’s Saleem Ali the funding to launch a knowledge hub for colored gemstones, including signature projects across the globe. This includes Madagascar and South Asia where the projects are focused on miner education as well as health and safety outreach.
Continuing the published opinions on whether or not the Kimberley Process (KP) is "bullshit" - in the words of Martin Rapaport - JCK's Rob Bates invited Ian Smillie, chaair of the Diamond Development Initiative, president of the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development and formerly one of the key architects of the Kimberley Process, to respond to Brad Brooks-Rubin's response to Rapaport's original
GIA (Gemological Institute of America), together with international development organization Pact, has launched a pilot study to test a new rough gem guide. The guide was developed specifically to offer basic gemological and market knowledge for artisanal miners in gem-producing regions. The illustrated booklet, available in English and Tanzanian Swahili, was distributed to approximately 45 women miners in the Tanga region of Tanzania. “This project is at the very core of GIA’s mission,” said GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques.
The London Diamond Bourse (LDB) has announced the appointment of Katherine Chappell as its Special Advisor for Ethical Issues to its Council of Management. Chappell has more than twenty years experience in the gemstone industry, is a longstanding member of London Diamond Bourse, a specialist in fair trade principles and a proponent of ethical sourcing and distribution. She is also a member of Women in Mining.
"The Kimberley Process (KP) is one of the key institutions that the diamond industry depends on to deliver the assurance that not only are rough diamonds responsibly sourced," writes Vinod Kuriyan, chief editor of GEMKonnect and a veteran analyst of the diamond industry, "but that they deliver fair value to artisanal miners and the local communities in the sourcing area." His defence of the KP was prompted by Martin Rapaport's statement on stage last week at the
The European Parliament last week approved a draft regulation intended to prevent the minerals trade from funding conflict and human rights violations in Africa. If adopted, this “conflict minerals” law will oblige all but the smallest EU importers of tin, tungsten, tantalum, gold and their ores from conflict and high-risk areas to do "due diligence" checks on their suppliers, and big manufacturers will also have to disclose how they plan to monitor their sources to comply with the rules. Authorities in EU member states will be responsible for ensuring compliance by companies.
The Antwerp diamond industry this year is celebrating its 570th anniversary. A document recently discovered in the City Archive identifies the first signs of a diamond trade in the city dating back to 1447.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) will honor iconic retailer Helzberg Diamonds with the Diamonds Do Good Corporate Legacy of Philanthropy Award, the organization writes in a press release. The retailer will be one of three honorees at DEF’s Diamonds Do Good Awards gala, June 4 at the Four Seasons Ballroom in Las Vegas. The award reflects the actions taken by a corporation to better the lives of the local community while making a difference at the global level.
The Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), a committee dedicated to educating and regulating the ethics and integrity of the jewelry industry, has appointed Tiffany Stevens as its new president and CEO, reports JCK. She succeeds Cecilia Gardner, who held this post for 18 years, was general counsel of the World Diamond Council for 15 years and was involved in the Kimberley Process from the time of its inception in 2000.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) announced that the Board of Directors has named Ms. Marie-Chantal Kaninda as Executive Director effective March 1, 2017. Ms. Kaninda will be replacing Patricia Syvrud, who is stepping down on February 28th. Ms. Kaninda brings to the organization over 20 years of industry marketing and stakeholder engagement experience, having worked for companies such as Anglo Gold Ashanti, De Beers and Rio Tinto, mostly in Africa. A resident of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ms.
"When I joined the diamond industry 10 years ago, I discovered the significant contribution diamond mining makes to entire regions and communities, through local employment and investments, construction of infrastructure, and development of health and education programs. I would assume that most consumers today are not aware of the contribution diamonds make to the world. Diamonds matter to the livelihood of millions, and they matter to all of us who want to express to our loved ones the sincerity of our commitment. Not all is perfect, but it is good today, and it will be better tomorrow. I take pride in the fact that diamonds make the world a better place."
- Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of the Diamond Producers Association (DPA)
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) was acknowledged for their grant to the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), an initiative dedicated to improving the social and economic conditions of artisanal, small-scale miners and their families.
“AWDC has been a longstanding and reliable partner,” says Dorothée Gizenga, Executive Director of DDI. “Their support enables DDI to continue its efforts to formalize the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector in ways that benefit miners, their communities and local economies.”
Award-winning journalist Rob Bates raises some highly relevant issues in the wake of the announcement by Ashley Orbach - U.S. Department of State’s special advisor for conflict diamonds for the last three years - that she will be leaving the agency and her role as advisor. There was always going to be a sense of uncertainty concerning the U.S. stance toward the Kimberley Process and human rights in the mining industry under the unpredictable new administration, and the loss of continuity signalled by Orbach's departure may well add to it.
In a major blow to the already struggling jewelry sector in India, the government might cut the threshold limit for the requirement of the permanent account number (PAN) or Unique Identity Code (Adhaar Number) in urban, and Kisan Credit Card number in rural areas for jewelry or bullion purchases between Rs 50,000-100,000 ($740-1,480), writes Business Standard. The Budget, announced Wednesday, is likely to further tighten the noose around black money after the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on November 8, 2016.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), which collaborates on responsible sourcing practices in the jewelry supply chain, has launched its, "New and improved self-assessment workbook to help kick-start 2017 for our members." RJC explains, "The self-assessment workbook helps members self-assess their performance against the RJC Code of Practices (COP).
Sustainability has entered the mainstream in a signficant way, with young companies often making it a prime selling-point while well-known retailers, consumer products giants, and tech firms cater to consumers who increasingly care about sustainability.
"As consumer expectations lean increasingly toward transparency, a brand’s dedication to sustainable business practices is more important than ever before," write Jen King for Luxury Daily in her report on the “Sustainability is the New Black: Consumers Expect Ethical Transparency” session at Luxury FirstLook: Time for Luxury 2.0 on Jan. 18. She writes, "Panelists from the jewelry, spirits and hospitality sectors discussed how their businesses approach corporate social responsibility.
"As a leading member of the U.S. Jewelry industry, we are writing to express our support for Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the corresponding Securities and Exchange Commission’s Conflict Minerals Rule.
Tiffany & Co. has unveiled a short film on its diamonds, highlighting their journey through Tiffany's vertically integrated supply chain from mine to their studio in Antwerp, from Antwerp to the company’s polishing workshops in Mauritius and their final journey to New York. The film gives the viewer unprecedented access inside from inside three critical junctures of the journey from responsible mining to sorting, marking, cutting, polishing, grading, setting – and finally, the famous Tiffany Blue Box®.
Diamond industry analyst Avi Krawitz presents his thoughtful analysis of the year that was in the diamond industry 2016: "The Year Trust Returned to the Diamond Trade".
The 50TH Annual General Body Meeting (AGM) of The Gem & Jewellery Export Council (GJEPC), held on December 20, 2016, took some significant decisions, according to a press release. For one, the body approved changes in its code of ethics, necessary to complete the process of the GJEPC induction as a member into the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB). The AGM also approved the formation of the Trade Disciplinary Committee (TDC) by the GJEPC, together with the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) and the Mumbai Diamond Merchants’ Association (MDMA).
The United States Kimberley Process Authority (USKPA) has elected Jerry Ehrenwald, president and CEO of the International Gemological Institute (IGI), to its Board of Directors. The authority controls the use of Kimberley Process certificates for rough diamond exports from the U.S. “We look forward to working with Mr. Ehrenwald and the IGI staff to fulfill this meaningful mission for the U.S. rough diamond industry,” said Dr. Martin Hochbaum, executive director and member of the USKPA board, in a statement.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), representative body for the Antwerp diamond community, has does something different for Christmas this year. Instead of season’s greetings gifts or cards, 16 diamond ambassadors rolled up their sleeves and volunteered at the local Antwerp charity project “Moeders voor Moeders” (Mothers for Mothers), an organization which helps young families facing financial difficulties. AWDC will share its season’s greetings video from their day at Moeders voor Moeders on social media.
Dorothée Gizenga, international development expert and human rights advocate, has been appointed to the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honor. "She is the founding executive director of the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) and has dedicated her work to international development and the eradication of blood diamonds," reads the announcement.
On the occasion of Botswana’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary celebrating 50 years of independence, De Beers partnered with Career Diversity, Standard Chartered Bank Botswana and Leadership 2020 to host the inaugural W Summit, on October 13 in Gaborone.
Cameroon is allowing conflict diamonds from the Central African Republic to cross over its borders and into the legal supply chain due to poor controls, smuggling and corruption, Partnership Africa Canada said in a report published today.
The London Diamond Bourse (LDB) has announced that it is now a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). This makes LDB the first diamond bourse in the world to join the standards and certification organization. The LDB said its council of management unanimously voted to apply to join the RJC and will now undertake an independent audit to achieve full RJC certification, LDB said in a statement.
Last Friday, Antwerp World Diamond Centre and the Government of Flanders hosted a seminar on innovation in diamond financing at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. A standing-room only crowd packed the stately Reynolds Room in Burlington House, surrounded by a series of 20th-century British impressionist paintings appropriately titled "Reinventing Landscape", and reinventing the diamond financing landscape is precisely what AWDC has in mind: "Innovation is driving the financial industry forward at an unprecedented pace.
Diamond industry analyst Edahn Golan breaks down the rough diamond valuation system that was one of the key topics this year in Kimberley Process (KP) discussions. The heart of the issue is whether a method can be hashed out so that rough diamond producers receive a "reasonable" (read 'fair') price for their rough diamond parcels on the international market. The solution suggested is that rough diamonds would be valuated by converting the transaction prices retailers and jewelry makers pay for polished diamonds into rough prices, minus the manufacturers' costs and margins.
Today proves our determination to strengthen our efforts to prevent armed groups around the world from using trade in minerals to finance their activities and propagate conflict. This regulation will put into practice the EU's commitments to this effect. At the same time, no additional red tape for European companies that trade respecting the rules, while EU citizens can be assured that their purchases do not affect human rights in conflict-ridden countries."
- Peter Žiga, Slovak Minister in charge of trade and President of the Council, on EU reaching landmark agreement on conflict minerals regulation.
Two investment bubbles, 340 years apart, provide living proof of Edmund Burke’s famous observation that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Rough diamond broker and founder and president of N.Rothmann, Nurit Rothmann recounts the history of two remarkably similar speculative bubbles: the spectactular rise and sudden collapse of the tulip market in 1637 and the rough diamond market in the late 1970's and early '80s. Reprinted here by special arrangement.
The Kimberley Process (KP) Plenary held in UAE this week concluded with the announcement that that it has appointed the European Union as its Chair for 2018. The EU will assume responsibility as KP Vice Chair in 2017 with Australia as Chair, and India will be the Vice Chair in 2018 when EU becomes the organisation’s Chair. Consequently, in 2019 India will become the KP Chair.
As the 2016 Kimberley Process Plenary comes to a close, the World Diamond Council (WDC) and its president Andrey Polyakov applaud the positive steps taken in 2016, the initiatives undertaken by KP Chair UAE during the plenary itself, and look forward to the continued success of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme under the leadership of the new KP Chair, Australia.
The 2016 KP Plenary kicked off yesterday in Dubai as KP Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem welcomed representatives of 81 governments and industry organizations. First day activities included a third diamond valution forum addressing the elusive question of how to provide fair value for diamonds from Africa and achieve a formalized approach to valuing diamond resources.
The UAE Kimberley Process Chair (KP Chair), Ahmed Bin Sulayem, will host a special forum on synthetic diamonds and their impact on the future of the diamond industry on November 14 in conjunction with the annual KP Plenary. Bringing together representatives from 81 countries, the global diamond industry and civil society, the event will discuss a number of key issues facing the industry.
World Diamond Council (WDC) members representing every sector of the diamond trade, from producer to retail, will join together from November 13 to 17 to promote dialogue in the Kimberley Process (KP), and discuss mechanisms for greater industry inclusion at the organization's Plenary Meeting in Dubai, the WDC said in a statement. “The WDC reaffirms its commitment to assist all parties in their efforts to have a productive dialogue at this year’s Plenary and we are dedicated to supporting the KP’s tripartite structure put in place more than a decade ago,” stated Andrey Polyakov, president o
As announced in a press release, the UAE Kimberley Process Chair (KP Chair), Ahmed Bin Sulayem will host a one-day ‘KP Chair Special Forum’ on rough diamond valuation on 13 November, coinciding with the KP Plenary Session between 13 and 17 November 2016. The event will discuss key issues facing the industry with participants from 81 countries, as well as industry players from across the supply chain. This is third forum of its kind hosted by the UAE KP Chair.
The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) is celebrating its 90th anniversary this week in Armenia. Describing itself as the “United Nations of the jewellery business,” CIBJO represents the interests of all individuals, organizations and companies earning their livelihoods from jewelry, gemstones and precious metals. CIBJO is the oldest international confederation of national jewelry trade organizations. Its purpose is to encourage harmonization, promote international cooperation in the jewelry industry and to consider issues which concern the trade worldwide.
Last Friday, September 30, the second of three rough diamond valuation forums initiated by the current Kimberley Process (KP) Chair, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, was held in Antwerp.
Diamond companies, especially the small and medium-sized firms who make up the bulk of our membership, cannot easily access financing. Diamond manufacturing and trading companies need to finance their operations, however with banks facing higher capital requirements, risk aversion and increased regulatory burden, the financing they make available to diamantaires has fallen significantly in recent years and that has meant reduced operational flexibility and increased vulnerability to market movements for diamond companies.
- Ernie Blom, President of World Federation of Diamond Bourses, on the need for the industry to demonstrate its transparency and dependability to financial institutions as well as consumers.
JCK's award-winning news director Rob Bates sat down for a chat with Internet radio program "The Daily Beat" on Breakthru Radio (BTR) to talk all things diamonds, and in particular the Kimberley Process and diamonds in American culture.
BTR: What effect did the movie Blood Diamonds (2006) and reports after that have on the diamond industry?
"On concluding the second ‘Africa Dubai Precious Metals Forum’ in Accra, KP Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem met with H.E. President John Dramani Mahama to discuss Kimberley Process matters and to share the KP Chair Mid-Term Report," writes Emirates 24/7 News. Ghana is a full KP member, has the 11th largest reserves of diamonds in the world and is the 14th largest producer in Africa.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre’s “Diamond Pavilion” at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair today was the scene for the world premieres of two new initiatives: AWDC’s “Diamonds & Antwerp, It’s in our DNA” campaign, and HRD Antwerp’s rebranded diamond grading certificates.
De Beers' Tango Extension Project a proposed open pit diamond mine being explored as a way of extending the life of Victor Mine, located in the James Bay Lowlands of northern Ontario, approximately 90 km west of the coastal community of Attawapiskat First Nation. They are undertaking engineering studies and pursuing environmental approvals for the development of this mine, supported by existing Victor Mine infrastructure, and will be consulting with local communities and First Nations as part of that process.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) gathered in New York City last week for the organization’s 12th Annual General Meeting (AGM), focusing on its proposed new Strategic Plan to guide the organization’s work through 2020 as it continues to serve as the industry voice in the KP. Hosted by the United States Jewelry Council (USJC) and with the support of Signet Jewelers, ABN Amro Bank, De Beers Group, Brinks, UL and JCK, more than 100 representatives from the diamond industry, government, civil society and media came together to study new proposals
Diamonds Unleashed, a “profits with purpose” company with a social mission solely dedicated to the causes of women, has joined forces with Serena Williams – one of the brand’s distinguished ambassadors – to launch a collection this fall exclusively on HSN, announced Diamonds Unleashed by Kara Ross today in a press release. The Diamonds Unleashed for Serena Williams jewelry collection will debut September 12, 2016 during New York Fashion Week. It will accompany Serena Williams’ new fall collection on the runway during her fashion show.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr is CEO of the Diamond Producers Association, formed in May 2015 by seven of the world’s leading diamond companies to maintain and enhance consumer demand for, and confidence in diamonds. Lieberherr joined Rio Tinto’s diamond business in 2005, "a life-changing move", he tells us. With the official launch of DPA's "Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond." campaign to take place in early October, Lieberherr lays out his vision of the DPA and responds to some questions on key issues in the diamond industry.
After years of discussion between the Antwerp diamond industry and the Belgian Government, in 2015 it was decided to introduce the “Diamond Regime” tax system, pending European Commission approval. Today the EC announced that the fiscal regime does not constitute State aid, and gave the green light to what has come to be known as the "Carat Tax". Implementation of this new tax regime will put an end to complex discussions between the Antwerp diamond industry and tax authorities on the control and valuation of diamond traders' stock.
ALROSA, the world leader in diamond mining, has become a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) since 11 August 2016, writes RJC in a press release. "Consumers around the world are giving great importance to the origin of diamonds in jewelry. We believe it is important to demonstrate to the consumer that diamond mining is a socially responsible business that creates jobs, supports local communities and cares about the environment.