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Participants at the meeting discussed the potential remit and scope for a diamond association
Participants at the meeting discussed the potential remit and scope for a diamond association

Diamond suppliers collaborate for industry first

Reports have emerged that the world’s key diamond suppliers will join forces to establish an association responsible for tackling major industry concerns.

According to Bloomberg, representatives from eight diamond-mining companies recently met at Rio Tinto Group’s London headquarters to discuss the establishment of the association – believed to be the first of its kind.

“A meeting was held to assess the need for a producer association similar to other commodity-based organisations,” a Rio Tinto email to Bloomberg read.

“The idea of the body is to promote the interests of diamond producers and the diamond sector more generally. We will continue the discussions with industry participants.”

De Beers Group, Rio Tinto, Petra Diamonds and Lucara Diamond Corp confirmed their participation to Jeweller, while representatives from Alrosa, Gem Diamonds, Grib Diamonds and Dominion Diamond Corporation were also said to have been in attendance. 

In addition to marketing and promotion of diamonds as well as industry research, one of the main topics discussed at the gathering was the threat to consumer confidence as a result of undisclosed synthetic diamonds entering the market.

The issue appears to be a growing industry concern with a number of reports being made in recent years of synthetic diamonds being presented as natural stones.  

It was reported that the new association would have an initial annual budget of US$6 million (AU$7.8 m), help to manage relationships with governments and industry groups and provide an industry annual report.  

Individuals participating in the discussion have not been named. Jeweller sought further details from the eight companies believed to be involved, and at the time of publication, De Beers, Rio Tinto and Petra Diamonds had released the following response:

“Preliminary discussions have been held between a number of producers to explore the potential remit and scope of an industry association for diamonds that would seek to better understand, address and protect the needs of diamond consumers.

“These discussions are at an early stage, they cover many topics and no agreements have been reached. Until these discussions have concluded, no further comment will be made.”

Hot industry topic
Alex Popov, WDMF chairman
Alex Popov, WDMF chairman

While the diamond miners were meeting in London, a separate gathering in Hong Kong was taking place between diamond industry stakeholders.

World Diamond Mark Foundation (WDMF) chairman Alex Popov said that an “exclusive group of diamond industry members” met during the WDMF Exco Meeting and Asia-Pacific Presidents’ Summit in Shanghai to discuss diamond promotion.

"While the producers were meeting in London, we were holding the first edition of a think tank meeting on diamond marketing in Hong Kong – suggested by Rio Tinto and implemented by the WDM,” Popov explained.

“It was attended by representatives of retailers, manufacturers, bankers and producers who met for the first time to discuss the game plan for joint generic promotion.

"Obviously, the London meeting offers proof that also among the producers there is a growing recognition that we need to come together on the topic of generic diamond promotion,” he added.

More reading
Synthetic diamonds top international agenda
More synthetic diamonds found in India
Synthetic diamonds detected in Australia
India moves to tackle lab-created diamond fears
India continues fight against diamond mixing

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