Everyone wants to know the carat of a diamond, but how many people actually care about its origin? In an era where sustainable sourcing for goods is gaining ground, Tiffany & Co. announced recently the Diamond Source Initiative. This new enterprise from the renowned jewellers sets in motion a long-term plan to fully disclose where exactly their diamonds are sourced from.
“There should be nothing opaque about Tiffany diamonds,” said CEO of Tiffany’s Alessandro Bogliolo in a statement announcing the initiative. “Our clients want and deserve to know where their most valuable, most cherished diamond jewellery is from, and how it came to be.”
Starting from the first quarter of 2019, Tiffany’s will include the provenance of all diamonds 0.18 carats and larger with a unique laser-etched serial number that is invisible to the naked eye. That number will let consumers know the geographic sourcing information for the diamonds they’ve purchased.
This is just the first step in a long race in their journey to become more responsible. Tiffany’s also aims to share their craftsmanship progress by 2020, including where their precious stones are cut and polished.
Diamond sources are a highly-contested topic and even top jewellers are sometimes opaque about their sources. It’s not just blood diamonds that are sparking controversy. Tiffany’s SVP of diamond and jewellery supply Andy Hart told the trade publication JCK that lab-grown diamonds also have no place in a blue box.
“Our position is lab-grown diamonds are not a luxury material. We don’t see a role for them in a luxury brand,” he said. “They have their use and they have their place, but I think luxury consumers will continue to desire the rarity and amazing story of natural diamonds.”
By starting from the top, Tiffany’s is setting a high bar for other jewellers when it comes to diamond responsibility. The world’s largest diamond producers De Beers had started last year a blockchain method of tracing diamonds from miner to retailer. However, the efforts from Tiffany’s will surely make a bigger mark on a more global scale.
“A transparent journey of responsible sourcing reflects the many positive and far reaching benefits along every step of the diamond supply chain,” said Anisa Kamadoli Costa, chief sustainability officer of Tiffany’s. It’s about time that industry leaders step up and show the world how to properly be a sustainable brand. The age of the blood diamond is over.