You Know Your Diamond’s Cut and Carat. But Does It Have Ethical Origins? – by Tiffany Hsu (New York Time – January 8, 2019)

https://www.nytimes.com/

Consumers want to know the origin of the things they buy, like the name of the farm that supplied their milk or the source of the feathers in a down jacket. But when it comes to a diamond — quite likely one of the most expensive and emotional purchases a jewelry buyer will ever make — most know next to nothing about the source of the stone.

Tiffany & Company, which sold more than $500 million worth of diamond engagement rings in 2017, is hoping to change that. Beginning Wednesday, it will start a program that will identify for customers the country where their diamond was mined, and, eventually, information on where it was cut, polished and set.

The move is part of an effort among jewelers to attract younger shoppers, who may look upon established, venerable stores as stuffy and uncool. They also tend to eschew the hefty baubles their parents preferred for a much more spare style.

The issue of sourcing is especially acute with diamonds, which change hands many times from mine to showroom. More buyers are asking for specific evidence that their gems were not produced using child labor or to finance wars or terrorist activity — the concerns over so-called blood diamonds. So jewelers are starting to work provenance into their marketing, with some even exploring blockchain technology as a way to provide more information about a gem’s origins.

But true clarity — a feature also prized in the gems themselves — remains elusive. And Tiffany acknowledges that it cannot provide customers with the precise location where a diamond was mined.

For the rest of this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/business/diamonds-origin-tiffany-consumers.html

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