Let’s be honest… about Russian diamonds

Marianne Riou

Dear readers,              

One of the results of a crisis is that it makes you face up to your limitations. It asks you to look at what you have achieved, your needs and to check the path ahead as well.

And once again, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing global crisis, the diamond industry is having to face up to its own limitations.

So today, at Rubel & Ménasché, we will give you our very honest opinion.

Does the origin of diamonds matter? Yes

Should we shift the debate and hide behind the fact that the diamonds mined in Russia are polished elsewhere? Will they be less Russian? How can such an argument be acceptable for consumers?

We have made transparency and traceability strong selling points to increase consumer confidence in our industry and in our ‘product’. We have the choice of defending ethical values and being ever more responsible.

Since the start of the war, we have sought to cover ourselves, aware of the issues at stake and the implications for our companies and our daily lives. In the interests of friendship and respect for our partners as well. But now we are faced with the limitations of this connected world of global trade. The idea was that this trade was also meant to guarantee peace… peace that the Russian leaders have quite simply shattered.

Is it important that consumers know that around 30% of the diamonds that the diamond and jewelry industry may set on any jewelry item they are considering buying comes from Russia? Yes.

Are they likely to refuse to buy such jewelry, even if they are fully aware that jobs will be affected? Of course. Or at least in Western countries.

But it is not for us to make the decision for consumers. It is much wiser to provide them with accurate information – and as much as possible – and then let them choose.

Everyone should be free to decide whether to sell or buy Russian diamonds.

The sector’s professional bodies should represent us, give an opinion, provide us the legal information, and open the way by helping us all deal with this situation, while we remain free and conscious of our choices! After all, it doesn’t matter if we speak as one or have divergent views, does it?

But being fair, upright and honest with ourselves, our partners and consumers is invaluable if we still wish to claim to be a ‘responsible’ industry.

Take care.

Happy reading and enjoy your week.


PS: Just after I finished writing this editorial, I read Rob Bates’ article, With Russia, the Industry Must Prove It Has Learned The “Blood Diamond” Lesson, which covers the same topic and which we won’t have time to translate before Thursday. I therefore encourage you to read it. It perfectly complements the one by Avi Krawitz which opens the Lettre and will give you some food for thought…

PS: There have been many new developments since I wrote this editorial on Tuesday. We would would like to express our support to our friend Iris…

Photo © Kedar Gadge on Unsplash.

Source Rubel & Ménasché