Color diamonds are more valuable and desirable and a better investment

In 1993, Eyal Cohen started his career as a diamond cutter, sitting by his father’s side as an apprentice. 4 years later, he was recruited by a jewelry firm, where he learned to appreciate natural colored diamonds. In 2003, Eyal opened his own company...

17 september 2018

Debate on the main issues affecting the diamond business is absolutely critical - Ernie Blom

Having taken part in the fruitful discussions with the world leaders at the Asian Summit held recently in Vladivostok, Ernie Blom, President, World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) now looks forward to taking the worthy inputs received at...

10 september 2018

Reflecting the nature of the industry, US jewellery market is significantly seasonal with great ‘ebb and flow’ in demand, opines Vin Lee

Vin Lee, CEO of Beverly Hills-based Grand Metropolitan, a privately-held luxury goods holding company had migrated from Canada as a child. And one can see that it did not take him long to ascend the US luxury world, establishing himself as a formidable...

27 august 2018

Vladimir Zboykov: New times have come for jewelers

How a personal collection of minerals was thrown on the scrap-heap, who is behind the destruction of gemstone consumption culture in Russia and why jewelers will soon have to choose between business and prison – all this was told to Rough & Polished...

20 august 2018

Changing preconceptions in the diamond and financial markets

Eli Avidar is a man on the move…literally. In April, the former Israeli diplomat stepped away from the CEO’s office at the Israel Diamond Exchange, a position he had held for more than two years, and from the Israel Diamond Institute, where he had been...

13 august 2018

UN GA adopts resolution seeking alignment of efforts to end illicit diamond trade

13 march 2018
The UN General Assembly, welcoming progress made by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme to break links between the diamond trade and conflict, adopted a consensus resolution aimed at intensifying that work and aligning it with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, noting that Australia was the outgoing Chair of the Kimberley Process — established by the United Nations in 2003 to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the mainstream market - said that scheme had made a valuable contribution to international security, development and human rights.
“Fifteen years ago […] the global diamond trade looked very different than that of today. At that time, diamonds were mined in conflict zones, while at the other end of the supply chain, customers had little or no way to know where the diamonds had originated. The Kimberley Process cut the flow of diamonds to insurgencies and rebel groups, who would sacrifice peace and development for their own power,” she said.
Antonio Parenti, speaking on behalf of the European Union, noted that the bloc — which had been at the forefront of the Kimberley Process from since its inception — had been selected to Chair the certification scheme for 2018. Welcoming the decision to set up an Ad Hoc Committee on Review and Reform, which would enhance administrative and financial support to the Process, he pledged to use the 2018 Chairmanship to promote open dialogue among the three pillars of the Kimberley Process: Governments, industry and civil society.
Noa Furman (Israel) declared: “ What had appeared as an unprecedented goal in 2003 had today become a reality, with 99.8 per cent of the world’s diamonds being considered conflict‑free”.
In his opening remarks to the U.N. panel discussion, Stephane Fischler, Acting President of the World Diamond Council (WDC), said, “The first ever mineral-based global mechanism to contribute to settling armed conflicts, the KP has over its relatively young life significantly contributed to peace and security, and so, enabling the diamond industry to support and create employment, income and livelihoods for millions of people.”
Noting that a vast number of diamond industry companies and their principals have shown for decades that “diamonds” do transform lives, he said that it is proved by the prime examples of Botswana and Yakutia in the Russian Federation and even the smallest companies in India, Belgium, Israel, the US and many others.
“The risk of conflict fueled by a mix of lack of capacity, transparency, toxic politics, corruption, greed, outside intervention and the presence of precious minerals such as diamonds, gold, coltan and others is ongoing. But it need not to be that way,” he said, adding that as the voice of industry in the KP, the WDC believes that in this important year of KP Review, there are three areas in urgent need of reform: 1. Expanding the meaning and scope of conflict diamonds to increase the likelihood of safe and secure working conditions, fair labor practices and sustainable development in diamond communities. 2. Adding a permanent secretariat in a neutral country, a crucial role for strengthening the long-term implementation of the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme by improving the implementation of KP agreed decisions, more effectively restoring KPCS implementation in sanctioned countries and better supporting development projects in Participant countries. 3. Strengthening the KPCS minimum standards by making the peer review mechanism stronger.

Alex Shishlo, Editor of the Rough&Polished European Bureau in Brussels