The marketing battle between the natural diamond industry and laboratory-grown diamond producers and their advocates is intensifying. Not a week goes by without the latest effusive article - sponsored or otherwise - appearing about the inevitable rise of synthetics. While the traditional issue of the undisclosed mixing of synthetics with natural is still very topical, recent debates have shifted to nomenclature, pricing, transparency and corporate social responsibility.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on March 1 adopted a resolution calling for a strengthening of the Kimberley Process (KP) to more effectively sever the link between the illicit transaction of rough diamonds and armed conflict, thereby contributing to the maintenance of international peace and, in particular, security and sustainable development in artisanal diamond-mining regions. The World Diamond Council has welcomed the adoption of a resolution, which was proposed by the European Union (EU) and ratified by consensus by the members of the 193-member UNGA body.
With 2019 being the final year of the Kimberley Process’ (KP) three-year review, the organization must grasp an historic opportunity to correct shortfalls in the system designed to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the chain of distribution, World Diamond Council (WDC) President Stephane Fischler will tell a special meeting on the role of diamonds in fueling conflict, which is being conducted today in New York as part the United Nations General Assembly’s 73rd Session.
The Kimberley Process (KP) is set to adopt a draft resolution that opens up the potential to expand its mandate beyond the narrow confines of eliminating 'conflict diamonds' as currently defined. The draft resolution is entitled "The role of diamonds in fuelling conflict: breaking the link between the illicit transaction of rough diamonds and armed conflict as a contribution to prevention and settlement of conflicts," which it will include in the provisional agenda of its next session, committing the KP to discuss a report on the implementation of the Kimberley Process.
BV Schmuck & Uhren (BVSU) has become the first German jewelry trade association to become a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC). The association, which was founded in 1947 and represents nearly 170 medium-sized companies at the national, European and international levels, announced its decision at the recently concluded Inhorgenta Munich show.
The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has developed an illustrated booklet, “Selecting Gem Rough: A Guide for Artisanal Miners,” to help small-scale miners learn more about the quality and classification of the gems they recover, and ultimately to obtain greater market value. As Russel Shor explains, the two pilot projects GIA initiated with Pact, a Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental development organization with offices in Tanzania, are having an impact on these miners' lives.
Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa has updated its policy on sustainable development and corporate social responsibility in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as best international practices and industry trends, the company writes in a press release.
The EU Plenary, which brings together the three pillars of the KP and its many stakeholders, was marked as a unique opportunity to advance the ambitious reform agenda set in 2017. Under the leadership of the EU, the KP discussed an agenda with three priorities: a deepening of the KP, including the reinforcement of the system of controls and the transformation of KP recommendations into minimum requirements; an expansion of the KP by broadening the definition of conflict diamonds; and professionalization of the KP by, among others, the establishment of a permanent KP secretariat.
Monday afternoon in Brussels at the opening of the Kimberley Process (KP) Plenary session, World Diamond Council (WDC) President Stephane Fischler urged the delegation to support the strengthening the KP by expanding the definition of conflict diamonds (Read full speech). The expanded definition proposed by the Canadian government includes diamonds associated with widespread and systematic violence.
This week, a group of nine government officials from four African diamond-producing countries (Cameroon, Congo Braza, Cote D'Ivoire, Guinea) embarked on a ten-day training course in Antwerp, furthering their knowledge of rough-diamond evaluation and valuation. The course, called the "KP Technical Assistance Valuation Program", 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 World Diamond Council (WDC) concluded its 14th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Mumbai, India this week, reaching consensus on critical areas of reform for both the Kimberley Process and the WDC System of Warranties (SoW), the industry organization announced in a press release. The WDC passed resolutions for further improvement of a responsible supply chain and enhanced self-regulation exercise within the WDC SoW.
The World Diamond Council (WDC) kicked off its 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Mumbai on October 22, with its focus being on reform of the Kimberley Process and WDC System of Warranties in support of a commitment to sustainable development by the diamond industry. The meeting is hosted by The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), and this year’s event welcomed several new member organizations that strengthen the collective voice of the Council, particularly in Belgium, China and Africa. The agenda will continue to focus on a push for reform, both externally in the Kimberl
The 2018 World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) Congress held last week in Bogotá, Colombia featured a strong focus on responsible sourcing in the jewelry industry. This included the introduction of a Responsible Sourcing Guidance document, which will serve as a reference for responsible sourcing practices developed and applied by industry organizations and commercial bodies worldwide and will come to have the status of a CIBJO Book. To oversee the process, a Responsible Sourcing Commission was established.
The EU Chairmanship of the Kimberley Process and the ongoing review of the KP provide a unique opportunity to transform it into a tool not just for conflict prevention, but also for sustainable development, the AWDC told us yesterday afternoon. The gathering momentum for transforming the KP's very narrow definition of conflict diamonds during this year’s Chairmanship will only be brought to fruition through the concerted efforts of all the public and private actors across the diamond value chain.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has announced that Andrew Bone will be stepping down as its Executive Director, effective 27 March 2019. Andrew Bone has been Executive Director since the spring of 2015. Under his leadership, RJC membership doubled and the organization laid the foundations for sustainable growth in the future, the RJC said in a statement.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F) has partnered with the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) to establish the first in a series of Diamond Empowerment Fund Scholarships. The DEF scholarship, the first in a series of new scholarships, will be earmarked for a student from a diamond producing country whose chosen post-graduate study will be in a field of interest that meets the needs for improving the quality of life for Africans. Additional D.E.F scholarships will be identified in the coming months, each representing the global impact of the diamond industry.
Last week, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the University of Antwerp hosted an “Innovation and Diamonds” conference at the Antwerpsche Diamantkring - the only rough diamond bourse in the world - featuring internationally-recognized experts from across the spectrum of the diamond trade, including alternative financing, the impact of digital on the luxury segment, the feasibility of small-scale ethical mining, as well as the earthquake and aftershocks of De Beers’ foray into lab-grown diamonds: LightBox.
World Diamond Council (WDC) executives traveled to Angola last week for a series of meetings with stakeholders involved in the Kimberley Process (KP). WDC Acting President Stephane Fischler and Executive Director Marie-Chantal Kaninda made the trip at the invitation of Angolan authorities, marking the first time there has been a WDC mission to Angola outside of a formal KP meeting.
From June 19 to 22, Antwerp was the host city for the Kimberley Process (KP) Intersessional meeting. This year, the European Union occupied the KP Chair, under the lead of Hilde Hardeman (pictured). The global diamond community - consisting of diamond-producing and trading countries, the diamond industry and civil society - gathered together to assess the current state of affairs and look forward to the future of the KP.
On the sidelines of the Kimberley Process Intersessional taking place this week in Antwerp, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate their common objectives of improving the image, professionalization and marketing of African diamonds.
The Kimberley Process Intersessional being held in Antwerp got into full swing this morning, and while the proceedings were calm and orderly - not always a given when the 54 participants (representing 81 countries) get together for their annual meetings - there were some noteworthy highlights.
The Kimberley Process Intersessional meeting kicked off today in Antwerp, as the diamond capital welcomed the international diamond community for the prestigious four-day conference. A total of 54 participants representing 81 countries (the European Union and its 28 Member States count as a single participant) are attending the KP Intersessional meeting, representing over 99% of the global trade in rough diamonds.
Summing up the main results of its ecological programs and events for 2017, Russia's ALROSA, the largest diamond company in the world, said it allocated $75 million (RUB 4.4 billion) for environmental programs last year alone. These funds allowed the miner to implement projects of great importance to ALROSA and the regions and to significantly increase monitoring over the state of the environment. In 2018 financing for environmental activities will increase up to approximately US$85 million (RUB 5.3 billion).
The World Diamond Council (WDC) System of Warranties (SoW) has entered a public review period following the completion of an industry review. The SoW review and reform process is part of the WDC Strategic Plan and is intended to help industry participants better implement and demonstrate commitment to responsible business conduct when buying or selling rough and polished diamonds.
The executive director of the World Diamond Council (WDC), Marie-Chantal Kaninda on May 31 addressed U.S. State Department officials and civil society members on the topic of responsible diamond sourcing and the Kimberley Process (KP). This is the first time that the WDC presented to the U.S. State Department and supports the WDC’s strategy to raise awareness for, and encourage participation in, efforts to combat conflict diamonds.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has announced a series of senior appointments to its Board of Directors as the organisation continues to strengthen its position as the jewellery industry’s foremost standards setting and certification body. The appointments were announced at the RJC’s Annual General Meeting in Moscow on Thursday, 17 May.
The three newly appointed Officers of the Board of Directors are:
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is currently working to improve the working conditions for artisanal miners in conformity with traceability standards proposed by the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), according to the World Diamond Council (WDC). In the interest of fostering such improvements, Stephane Fischler, acting president of the World Diamond Council (WDC), and Marie-Chantal Kaninda, executive director of the WDC, traveled last week to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to meet with key stakeholders involved in the Kimberley Process (KP).
IBM and a consortium of gold and diamond industry leaders have launched the first cross-industry initiative to use blockchain to trace the provenance of finished pieces of jewelry across the supply chain for increased transparency, the multinational technology company announced last week. Asahi Refining (precious metals refiner), Helzberg Diamonds (U.S.
In what can only be described as a brilliant initiative, De Beers Group today announced it is preparing to pilot a program called GemFair to create a secure and transparent route to market for ethically-sourced artisanal and small-scale mined (ASM) diamonds. GemFair will use dedicated technology to record ASM production at mine sites that meet demonstrable ethical standards, with the aim of purchasing rough diamonds from approved locations while helping improve working conditions and livelihoods for those working in the sector.
The JCK Industry Fund, established in 1997 to enhance the image of the jewelry industry and to foster development and research of programs that would benefit the industry, will provide a $100,000 grant to the Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F) in support of its Diamonds Do Good Initiative, a consumer-facing initiative designed to highlight to consumers the collective good works of the diamond and jewelry industry. Research shows 75% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase a diamond after reading positive stories about how the industry gives back.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and CARAT+ today announced the inaugural edition of Hack4Diamonds, the first ever ‘hackathon’ in the diamond industry, taking place from May 4 to May 6 in collaboration with Junction and with the support of CARAT+ (see press release in annex).
Members of the Civil Society Coalition (CSC), currently consisting of several NGOs which together form one of the three pillars of the Kimberley Process, met in Antwerp last week to reflect on its role in the Kimberley Process and on broader diamond governance.
Sergey Ivanov (37), the young CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the world’s largest diamond miner, ALROSA, was in Antwerp for the company’s annual meeting with its 56 long-term clients. ALROSA is a traditional company in a traditional business, and still evokes the reputation of a state-owned giant despite the partial privatization (currently 34%) of the company a few years ago.
"In recent years the diamond industry has been battered by falling prices and the growing threat from synthetic, lab-grown stones", writes Jon Yeomans for The Telegraph. "But it is alert to the problems in its supply chain and the reputational threat these hold.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund has announced the recipients of its 2018 ‘Diamonds Do Good’ Awards, to be presented at the D.E.F.
For 10 years, the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) has been working to transform artisanal diamond mining into an economically viable, socially and environmentally responsible activity that will benefit miners, their communities and their governments, and consequently, the diamond and jewelry industry, the organization writes in a press release on the occasion of its ten-year anniversary.
As the calendar turned on the new year, the European Union took over the chairmanship of the Kimberley Process, aimed to ensure sustainable and conflict-free trade in diamonds. Under the leadership of High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, the EU will head this international initiative to stem the trade in conflict diamonds during 2018. The EU emphasized that its tenure would be guided by the principles of sustainability, inclusiveness, responsibility and dialogue.
At the close of the KP Plenary session in Brisbane last week, the World Diamond Council (WDC) - the KP industry representatives focused on preventing conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate global supply chain and protecting the value of diamonds - extended praise and gratitude to Participants at the gathering, for embracing the spirit of collaboration and open dialogue around KP reform. “This week we spoke openly and transparently about areas of the KP in need of the most urgent reform, and I am pleased that we have come together and
“We want to change the narrative surrounding the diamond industry,” says Diamond Empowerment Fund executive director Nancy Orem Lyman.
Russian diamond mining giant ALROSA has become a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) by achieving certification against its Code of Practices through meeting the highest ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards as established by the RJC, the two organizations communicated this morning. A large independent audit company has been undertaken to assess ALROSA’s compliance with RJC’s Code of Practices.
As the Kimberley Process 2017 Plenary is set to start in Brisbane on Saturday, December 9, The Diamond Loupe sat down with the Acting President of the World Diamond Council (WDC) and President of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre Stéphane Fischler to discuss the industry oganization's recommendations and what they are expecting from this Plenary.
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, today called for an open discussion around Kimberley Process reform at the KP Plenary meeting to be held in Brisbane, Australia December 9-14, 2017.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has appointed Edward Johnson as director of business development to help expand its expertise and drive growth for the organization. Johnson will focus his efforts around developing strategies to drive membership engagement and strengthen the RJC’s relationships with key stakeholders. His role will be integral to evaluating new opportunities for growth and expansion into niche markets, as well as expanding the RJC globally, focusing particularly on Greater China, India and the USA.
“We have the diamond,” said Leora Halfon of tender house Koin International on the sidelines of the African Diamond Conference, showing us a photo of the 476-carat, Type IIa, D-colored diamond just unearthed by Meya Mining in Sierra Leone. “It’s already in Antwerp.”
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.
Click through for full interview.
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.
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.
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.