It’s become clear: Consumers want firm guarantees that their diamonds are not associated with bad things. So do governments. And the industry is—perhaps belatedly—stepping up its efforts to offer that. Transparency and tracking have suddenly become “in.”
As was discussed on the latest JCK podcast, the number of traceability seminars and initiatives at the JCK Las Vegas show this year was truly impressive, from the De Beers–originated Tracr to the new program to trace lab-growns.
“That is an area where there really is growing interest,” says Tom Moses, the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) executive vice president and chief research and laboratory officer. “It’s not just in our industry. You see that all the brand names want to know where all the leather in their goods comes from. It’s natural that people want to know where their diamond is from.”
As a result, GIA has retooled its mine-to-market program, which it now offers as country of origin reports.
“Maybe we were a little early and maybe we were a little too complicated with this a few years ago,” says Moses. “But we are reenergized with this. We are getting interest in it all the time.”
One particularly noteworthy development came from Russian diamond miner Alrosa, which announced a traceability initiative at the show.
Alrosa is in a unique spot here. It has a mine. It has a cutting factory. It doesn’t have to do a lot of work to track its production. No blockchain, scientific formulas, or other fancy footwork needed.