In 2015, CAP Conseil, a sustainable development consultancy based in Belgium, presented the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) an idea for a fully ethical and traceable diamond jewelry project from small-scale origin. Two years later, the first MY FAIR DIAMOND collection has become a reality.
The African Diamond Conference (ADC), a joint initiative of Belgium's Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), took place yesterday at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. With nearly 400 in attendance, the ADC featured a broad range of speakers from across the entire diamond pipeline - from mine to finger - as well as diamond industry stakeholders.
De Beers Group and United Nations (UN) Women, in collaboration with Botswana’s Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, today announced a $758,000 (BWP8 million), three-year investment in capacity-building programmes to support women micro-entrepreneurs in select villages in the Okavango Delta and Kweneng District, the company stated in press release. The announcement was made at today’s W Summit in Gaborone, convened by De Beers, which focuses on the advancement of women business leaders in Botswana and southern Africa.
In the midst of a five-day Belgian State visit to India, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) - umbrella organization for the Antwerp diamond industry - joined hands with its Indian counterpart, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), to host a roundtable discussion today (Nov. 9) in Mumbai concerning the contributions of the diamond industry to social and economic development.
The Government of Sierra Leone has appointed the Rapaport Group as the marketing and sales agent of the "Peace Diamond". The 709-carat diamond, discovered by a local pastor and diamond digger in the village of Koryardu, is the third-largest diamond ever found in Sierra Leone and the 13th-largest ever to be unearthed. The Peace Diamond is special because it is a development diamond, Rapaport said in a statement. Over 50% of its sale value will directly benefit the community where the diamond was discovered and the people of Sierra Leone.
The external perception [of our story] is not aligned with our good intentions and actions. We have seen this more clearly than ever by the risk profile regulators have attached to our industry. We all know at what cost and impact to our bottom line. We cannot allow this to continue. It is uniquely important that each part of the industry, within its specific mandate, remains fully aligned with our ethical standards and engaged to benefit the good image and reputation of diamonds. Our story is one of shared responsibilities, and we cannot afford to fail. But more than ever it is a story of individual companies making a huge difference collectively for millions of people around the world. It is a story to share.
Stéphane Fischler, President of the World Diamond Council, at the Annual General Meeting in Dubai.
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Australian junior miner POZ Minerals Limited (‘POZ’) has signed a mining agreement with the Bunuba Dawangarri Aboriginal Corporation (‘Bunuba’), the traditional owners of the southern part of the Blina Diamond Project area, which will enable POZ to move forward with its diamond project in the Ellendale Region of Western Australia - known for its fancy yellow diamonds.
De Beers Group announced a three-year partnership with UN Women to accelerate the advancement of women across its organization and to take steps forward in its plan to be a positive force for supporting gender equality through all its marketing campaigns, the company announced in a press release. Working alongside UN Women, governments and communities in its diamond producing countries of Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa, De Beers will invest US$3 million to advance the prospects of women and girls by addressing key priority areas.
ALROSA has been included on the FTSE4Good international rating, an index series designed to support investment in companies based on their environmental, social and governance criteria, for the first time. The rating system serves as an indicator of compliance with internationally recognized standards of the above mentioned criteria.
On September 1, Russia celebrated the Day of Knowledge, a state holiday and traditional beginning of the school year for students. This year ALROSA has helped to prepare for school more than 1,100 first-graders of Mirny district. In total, ALROSA will spend RUB 220 million (about $4 mln) for charitable assistance to educational institutions in 2017. The company presented gift school sets and conducted local charity events, where they provided support to schools and material aid to multi-child families with schoolchildren.
The University of Antwerp and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, together with the Belgian Federation of Diamond Bourses and the Syndicate of the Belgian Diamond Industry (SBD) this morning kicked off a two-week summer school program - "From Mine to Finger: A deep dive into the world of Diamonds".
The Diamond Development Initiative, which works to formalize the Artisanal and Small-scale mining (ASM) sector and improve the lives and working conditions of artisanal and small-scale miners, their families and communities, honored 110 children from remote mining communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo that attended DDI's mobile schooling program. They have completed their remedial primary education program, passed their state exams, and are now participating in their local graduation ceremony. The goal of the mobile schooling program is to provide access to remedial education to c
Signet Jewelers Limited has been recognized for its corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts by being named as a component of the FTSE4Good US and Global Indices in 2017. Signet joins this group of other publicly traded companies with strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. “Signet is proud of our commitment to reducing our energy consumption and raising our efficiency levels across our business.
CEO of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC), Dr. Moris Mpofu, last week described plans for reversing the resource curse in the country's tumultuous diamond industry with the creation of a multinational diamond park in Mutare - Zimbabwe's fourth-largest city situated on its eastern border.
The World Diamond Council (WDC), an industry group focused on preventing conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate global supply chain and protecting the value of natural diamonds, will hold its 13th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, October 15-17, 2017. The meeting will be hosted by Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). Among the items to be discussed at the AGM are industry recommendations for the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) review cycle and a proposed renewal of the WDC System of Warranties.
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.