Legal terms have changed since the Russia crisis, the RJC can now remove members.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) can now remove members — a capability it famously lacked during last year’s ALROSA controversy, executive director Melanie Grant revealed on the Rapaport Diamond Podcast.
“If members bring us into disrepute, we can vote as a board and expel them,” she explained. “We didn’t have the ability to do that before in the way that would have needed to have been done at the time. So we had to change our articles and then we had to change our membership agreement.”
The RJC’s inability to eject ALROSA following the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine prompted several members to leave the organization, including Cartier and Pandora as well as Kering’s jewelry brands. The diamond miner, in which Russia owns a 33% stake, eventually suspended itself.
“About 11” of those companies that left have not returned, Grant said. “I would love to talk to the 11 to sit down with them and talk about how we’ve evolved and how we can work together in the future,” she said.
The jewelry stylist and writer, who joined the RJC in January, appeared on the podcast with Rapaport Editor in Chief Sonia Esther Soltani and News Editor Joshua Freedman. They discussed Grant’s first six months at the RJC, the latest developments at the group, and what she does with her limited spare time.
The RJC is also working on a standard for lab-grown diamonds, which she hopes will be ready next year, the executive said.