[Diamonds/Kimberly Process] In conversation with Ian Smillie – by Marc Choyt (Jewellery Business – November 12, 2020)


Completely cleansing the global diamond industry of blood, corruption, and conflict is no easy feat, and few are more familiar with this challenge than Ian Smillie.

A founding participant in the creation of the Kimberley Process (KP), Smillie currently chairs the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), a conflict-prevention initiative that brings together non-government organizations (NGOs), governments, and the private sector to help formalize and improve social and economic conditions in the artisanal diamond mining sector.

Jewellery Business contributor, Marc Choyt, recently spoke to Smillie as research for the upcoming article, ‘Where Black lives don’t matter to jewellers.’ Co-authored by Kyle Abram, the piece explores the complexity of race within the jewellery industry, as well as the history of the ethical jewellery movement and the ongoing mission to create a ‘fair trade’ diamond.

Look for the feature in the December issue of Jewellery Business.

Marc Choyt (MC): Let me start by asking why, after almost 15 years, has there not been any diamond from the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) that’s come to market?

Ian Smillie (IS): We’ve actually had several experimental shipments reach the market; in the past year, through GemFair, diamonds from more than three dozen sites working to DDI’s Maendeleo Diamond Standards (MDS) have gone to market—but this is not easy.

For the rest of this interview: https://www.jewellerybusiness.com/news/in-conversation-with-ian-smillie/