Ethics is also about sharing

Isabelle Hossenlopp

Dear readers,

Ethics and responsibility are about more than just carbon footprints and traceability. The De Beers Group has always kept a close eye on the human side of the equation. Profit-sharing, redistribution and paying attention to local populations and the environment are all essential pieces of the puzzle. In Botswana, the mining group’s initiatives reveal the positive impact of an entire ecosystem.

While the diamond industry is defending its actions, it also intends to protect itself against fraud and attempts to pass off lab-grown stones as natural. Laboratories have recently detected colored diamonds with an undeclared synthetic origin. With the same concern for transparency, the French Ministry of the Economy and Finance has just reaffirmed that a man-made diamond must be labelled “de synthèse” or “synthétique” in France.

However, these diamonds have taken on a life of their own, and not without success. They are partly responsible for De Beers’s poor results in 2023, analyzed here by expert Avi Krawitz. Beyond just the competition from synthetic diamonds, sales volumes have fallen by 19%, resulting in 4.5 million carats worth of surplus stock. In Israel – a major diamond-trading hub – the situation is also problematic, but more affected by weak global markets than by the war in Gaza, according to Boaz Moldawsky, Chairman of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE).

Results are fairly positive among the major French luxury groups, as we discussed with LVMH and Richemont. Although they were more moderate at Kering, the group’s jewelry houses performed well.

Jewelry design is always full of surprises. One of the most exciting recent ideas involves using diamonds to write messages on a piece of jewelry in Morse code or Braille. The messages encapsulate emotions or memories and can only be deciphered by the person who encoded them. This amusing new trend makes it clear that meaningful jewelry is back in fashion. Elsewhere, Louis Vuitton has launched its Monogram Star diamond, borrowing its shape from the starry Monogram flower and sold with its own digital certificate (Aura Blockchain Consortium technology).

Finally, from its new home at the Hôtel de Mercy-Argenteau, L’École, School of Jewelry Arts has launched its “Voice of Jewels” podcast series. Have a listen to discover the fascinating stories and secret knowledge of jewelry from around the world told in an animated way.

Happy reading!