Tiffany & Co has been expanding its workforce in sub-Saharan Africa as part of its drive to increase its transparency and raise ethical jewelry standards across the industry.
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.
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.
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 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.
Speculation was already rampant about the potentially positive impact of having a First Lady and Daughter with their own retail brands; that impact has arrived in the first month, but whether or not it is positive is another question.
"The ethical aspect of trading does not weigh more heavily now than in the past. It remains as critical as it has always been. Indeed, we may be confronted with a more inquisitive public than in the past, but our focus on ethics has never changed. People who intentionally misrepresent their product are criminals and must be treated as such. Diamonds must continue to be traded, as in the past, responsibly and ethically.
Wedding planner website The Knot asks a common question to diamond ring purchasers: “How can you be sure your stone is conflict-free?” The fact that this question is still a concern to consumers even today, when ‘conflict diamonds’ have been all but eliminated from the supply chain, points to a misconception that most, if not all natural diamonds are considered conflict diamonds. But what exactly is a ‘conflict diamond’? Why do people still hold to the misconception that there is a great risk of buying them? And what steps can consumers take to be absolutely certain?
If the interest demonstrated at the "Screening & Identification of Synthetic Diamonds" seminar hosted by GIA at last week's India International Jewellery Show is any indication, undisclosed mixing of synthetic and natural diamonds is of great concern in India. The Tribune India writes, "According to industry sources, many small traders are quietly mixing the lab-cultured stones with natural diamonds and palming the consignment off to unsuspecting buyers.
In a recent article entitled "In the rough: A diamond is for ever. But its allure comes and goes", The Economist seized the occasion of the non-sale of the "Lesedi La Rona" diamond to expound on the difficult times facing the diamond industry. "It was the latest disappointment to befall an industry that has had little to celebrate.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF), whose Diamonds Do Good Initiative seeks to tell positive stories behind diamonds by highlighting the collective good works of the diamond and jewelry industries in diamond communities and areas where the industry does business, has announced the launch of the “Diamonds Do Good” video messaging campaign – a series of three sixty-second videos. The videos will rotate on global websites such as Vogue, The Ne
The vast majority of the diamond bankruptcies of late, however, have NOT been a result of business miscalculations, market downturns, or bad timing. They have all been planned, well-orchestrated moves to intentionally defraud other diamond industry stakeholders, particularly banks, of large sums of money. Many of these people - particularly in India - have been declared wilful defaulters by the banks and the authorities. And we’re all braced for many more.
Speaking to the new campaign the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) launched at JCK Las Vegas earlier this month, "Real is rare, real is a diamond", Global Witness argues that if diamond industry advertisers truly wish to appeal to their target audience - the millennial generation - then they would be best served by emphasizing the real good that the diamond industry does in the countries in which it mines. "According to the findings, for a generation living in an increasingly transient and virtual world, lasting and authentic connections are increasingly elusive and inversely desirable.
Last week, Martin Rapaport published an in-depth diatribe rejecting the claims of synthetic diamand producers that their product is more ethical than naturally mined diamonds, going so far as to call the way synthetic diamonds are marketed as "evil".
In his latest article, "How Do We Talk About Ethical Sourcing?", Rob Bates of JCK unpacks some of the key tensions lurking underneath marketing strategies that promote the ethical or eco-friendly advantages of synthetic diamond products, and even some of their natural counterparts. Analyzing recent statements by Suzanne Miglucci, the new president and CEO of moissanite manufacturer Charles & Colvard, Bates points out how the strategy they imply could rub retailers the wrong way and even involve "certain perils" when it comes to integrating into the diamond industry as a whole.
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) will hold its 37th World Diamond Congress in Dubai from May 16 to 19, and has identified transparency, responsibility and sustainability as the key themes of the meeting.
JCK reports that Brilliant Earth, an online jewelry retailer dedicated to socially and environmentally responsible sourcing as tool for promoting social change in developing countries, is opening its third showroom, in Boston, as well as airing its first TV commercial featuring homemade videos of engagement proposals with Brilliant Earth jewelry. The new showroom adds an East Coast base to its two California showrooms in Los Angeles and San Francisco,
IDEX India conducted a wide-ranging interview with Russell Mehta, vice chairman of the Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), and CEO of Rosy Blue (India), about the current state of affairs in the Indian diamond industry. The single biggest challenge, according to Mehta, is the ‘ease of doing business’.
Dominion Diamond's CanadaMark has announced a project to partner with jewelry designer Kara Ross on the December launch of "Diamonds Unleashed", a brand to promote and support women's empowerment. The mission is to engineer a great rethink about how diamonds are bought, given and perceived and then to use that shift as a platform to address issues that enable women to achieve their potential.
When Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred in the movie Blood Diamond, says he’s backing a start-up company to produce synthetic diamonds because this will ensure that the product is “ethically produced”, the whole world listens to him. And they think we are an industry that cannot be trusted. We have to prove him wrong.
- Sanjay Kothari addresses three major issues facing diamond industry: undisclosed synthetics, businesses taking on debt while knowing they are heading for bankruptcy, and illegal tampering with diamond certificates.
Ethically-motivated jeweler Greg Valerio has launched Valerio, an online fairtrade jewelry brand, in an effort to be at the leading edge of "the ethical transformation of the jewelry world." The brand has launched with a classic bridal range, created from certified Fairtrade gold and silver, traceable diamonds and gemstones, a project that Professional Jeweller says "aims to create a harmonious and elegant union between the land, the miner, the jeweler and the final customer." Valerio's website states: "I cannot ignore that
India’s diamond industry is highly complex with thousands of small, unregistered players concentrated in the cutting and polishing sector.
JCK reports that according to Alrosa's President, Andrey Zharkov, who spoke at the World Diamond Council in Moscow earlier this week, Alrosa is investing in research and development of synthetic screening technology. Zharkov said the company is working on technology that can detect synthetic diamonds - which under Russian law are not considered to be precious stones or gems - in the most efficient manner possible.
A handful of jewelers are addressing the iniquities of a supply chain that connects the luxury industry with millions of destitute miners digging for gold in atrocious conditions.
Electronic chip maker Intel is keeping a closer eye on the minerals used to produce its products in an effort to stamp out slave labor. Brian Krzanich, CEO of chip giant Intel, spoke to CNN about the company's efforts to combat the use of conflict minerals in the semiconductors that power our electronic gadgets by means of an extensive tagging and audit system. The company will only source from mines determined to be conflict free, and is working to verify sources.
The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) has made a few revisions to its Code of Ethics and Fair Business Practices document that are designed mostly to stress the importance of transparent supply chains in the colored gemstone world. AGTA CEO Doug Hucker said that revisions emphasize that members must do everything they can to assure the stones have been sourced in legitimate fashion and to comply with U.S. and international laws.
SCTimes.com (Central Minnesota) reports that according to local independent jewelers, asking questions about the origins of a diamond has become a common part of consumers' buying process. For some retailers, the assurances of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, pushing back conflict diamonds over the past decade, aren't enough.
Brilliant Earth and the Diamond Development Initiative are joining forces to bring education to children in mining communities. Brilliant Earth is the first sponsor of one of eight planned mobile schools in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The “Brilliant Mobile School” will welcome 25 students from the artisanal mining communities surrounding the Lungundi mine in the Kasai West Province.
The second Dubai Diamond Conference, taking place April 21 and 22, will highlight the issue of ethical business behavior -- one of the most pressing issues affecting the global diamond trade. The topic will be the focus of a special panel where NGOs and businesses will address increased interest in the issue of "conflict diamonds" and sustainable development.