Podcast: Selling the Botswana Story


Nicholas Moltke came on the Rapaport Diamond Podcast to explain why now is the right time to launch Botswanamark, the former De Beers executive’s single-source brand targeting US consumers.

Last month, Botswanamark introduced its product inside International Diamond Center (IDC) jewelry stores in the Florida cities of Orlando, Clearwater, Altamonte Springs and Sarasota.

The goods originate from Okavango Diamond Company (ODC), a state-owned trader that sells rough from the country’s Jwaneng, Orapa, and Letlhakane mines. The company buys the diamonds in their polished form from third-party manufacturers. It provides consumers with a provenance certificate stating that Debswana — Botswana’s 50:50 joint venture with De Beers — extracted the diamond. It also presents an image of the rough.

Moltke, who spent 16 years at De Beers, including as vice president of sales, said the current downturn in the diamond sector was cyclical, whereas the project was for the long term.

“In many ways, I kind of feel like it’s the perfect time for Botswanamark to get into the market,” said Moltke. “Partially because obviously there’s now going to come a ban on Russian diamonds, which is going to be put into effect in the new year. So I think for American retailers to manage their supply-chain risk, having access to something like Botswanamark is a perfect opportunity.”

Secondly, says Moltke, retailers have seen the success of De Beers’ Forevermark consumer brand — which offers a promise of responsible sourcing but no geographical origin — and are looking for a new proposition that comes with provenance.

Moltke also spoke about consumers’ knowledge of Botswana, the future of the country’s relationship with De Beers, and which markets outside the US could take an interest in proven-source diamonds.

Listen to the full episode here:

Source Rapaport