The lockdowns and social distancing measures introduced in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus has forced many if not most businesses to close and educational courses to be delayed. This has spurred industry organizations and associations to take action and set up initiatives to help people through the crisis. As of today, De Beers Group Institute of Diamonds is offering their Diamond Foundation Course for free (normally $250) to the diamond industry. The Antwerp World Diamond Centre has set up a registration portal on their website. Another initiative, focusing on the United States, is the Jeweler Support Network, a resource led by the Diamond Producers Association and supported by 11 different trade organizations.
De Beers' Diamond Foundation Course covers everything from the atomic structure of a diamond to how De Beers Group recovers and sorts rough diamonds. Modules focus on the 4Cs, retail sales skills and the detection of synthetic (lab-grown) diamonds, drawing on the latest findings of De Beers Group Technology. By following this course, students can return to work with a greater understanding and appreciation of the entire diamond industry with the confidence needed to clearly communicate the natural diamond story with customers.
The Jeweler Support Network, according to their website, is made up of leading industry bodies, was created to assist independent and family-owned jewelry businesses amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Network will work to provide support and resources to local jewelers, as well as information for consumers. They say the purpose of the website is to share, at no cost, best practices in digital marketing and ecommerce, industry news, and additional resources offering support. They have also set up a consumer-facing site to reinforce the importance of supporting local jewelers and small businesses in our industry. This will be backed up by an advertising campaign as retailers reopen for business.