Soon You May Know Exactly Where Your Diamond Was Mined – by Victoria Gomelsky (New York Times – November 20, 2023)

Several traceability systems have been introduced in the last six months, spurred by sanctions against Russian-mined stones.

Tracing the path of a diamond from the mine where it originated through the global supply chain is not as straightforward as it might seem — especially for consumers who make an effort to know the source of their purchases, from coffee beans to clothing.

The reasons include a longstanding industry practice of aggregating rough diamonds from different mines, the number of intermediaries involved in transforming a raw stone into a cut and polished gem, and the fragmented and global nature of the trade itself.

An equally powerful reason may be that neither the jewelry industry nor consumers prioritized it. “Everything was sold based on size and quality; it was never sold based on origin,” said Susan Jacques, the president and chief executive of the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.), headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif.

Now, primarily because of the war in Ukraine and the additional sanctions expected soon on diamonds from Russia (the world’s biggest diamond exporter by volume), “knowing where a diamond has come from is becoming essential information,” Al Cook, the chief executive of the De Beers Group, told an audience at a jewelry trade show in June in Las Vegas.

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