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Ronnie Van der Linden, president IDMA, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman DMCC, Ernie Blom, president WFDB, Dr Eugenio Bravo da Rosa, chairman Sodiam, and Gaetano Cavalieri, president CIBJO at the conference’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Ronnie Van der Linden, president IDMA, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman DMCC, Ernie Blom, president WFDB, Dr Eugenio Bravo da Rosa, chairman Sodiam, and Gaetano Cavalieri, president CIBJO at the conference’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Diamond leaders conference held in Dubai

International delegates gathered in Dubai for the annual World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) Presidents Meeting on 24-25 September.

As well as bringing together the WFDB and representatives of the International Diamond Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA), special panel presentations were given on two of the most pressing issues facing the diamond trade today: synthetic diamonds and traceability in the natural diamond supply chain.

Ernie Blom, president World Federation of Diamond Bourses, said ahead of the event, “The challenges that the industry is facing from a number of directions are without precedent. Our thousands of members across the globe expect us, as their elected leadership, to debate them and search for solutions that can take us forward, and that is exactly what we will be doing.”

The panel Lab-grown diamonds: A call for action included Yoram Dvash, president Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE), Ronnie van der Linden, president IDMA, Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO Diamond Producers Association and Rapaport India’s Sathi Nair.

Meanwhile the presentation How Traceability, Provenance and Blockchain are Becoming the New Mantra in Rough Diamond Trading featured panellists from De Beers, Alrosa, the Responsible Jewellery Council, the African Diamond Producers Association and the London Diamond Bourse.

Natural diamond campaign continues

The IDE launched the third video, ‘Natural diamond one of a kind’, in its ongoing ‘We love natural diamonds’ campaign at the WFDB Presidents Meeting.

The video series – which is distributed via social media – aims to educate and inspire consumers about the differences between natural diamonds, synthetic diamonds and diamond simulants.

Ernie Blom
Ernie Blom
“The challenges that the industry is facing from a number of directions are without precedent”
Ernie Blom, WFDB

Yoram Dvash, president IDE, said, “Our ceaseless efforts to promote the value and image of natural diamonds around the world have been well received, and we have therefore decided to continue this campaign. This video demonstrates the uniqueness of the natural diamond, created over millions of years by Mother Nature, which cannot be ‘copied’ in the laboratory.”

Blom praised the IDE’s campaign, which began two months ago with the video ‘Fake times real diamonds’. It will now be disseminated by the 29 WFDB member bourses around the world.

A diamond bourse for Angola

Another important announcement to come out of the Presidents Meeting was that a diamond bourse would be established in Luanda, the capital city of Angola.

Representatives from Sodiam, Angola’s state-owned diamond trading company attended the event and its chairman Dr Eugenio Bravo da Rosa was part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“We are happy to welcome this important delegation from Angola, a key player for future diamond mining potential and we welcome the important changes which have been taking place in the country,” said Blom. “The WFDB is ready to welcome a new diamond bourse and we are happy that this is being studied.”

The African nation has diamond reserves estimated at 180 million carats, which has the potential for Angola to become the world’s number one diamond producing country.

It is currently the seventh-largest diamond producing country by volume, based on statistics from the Kimberley Process. Last year, Angolan president João Lourenço announced plans to nearly double the country’s annual diamond production to 14 million carats within the next four years.

In recent months, Angola’s diamond deposits have been offered for private investment to foreign buyers and the nation has opened its third diamond-cutting and production facility for jewellery manufacture.

Embracing blockchain

Following on from the traceability and blockchain panel, the WFDB emphasised the need for transparency in the diamond supply chain.

Blom said, “The fragmented nature of the industry means that there is a dearth of information available about the gems and jewellery companies. Recent frauds, perpetrated by a few rotten apples, have also made banks and financial institutions mistrust the industry. They have also been demanding more transparency.”

The WFDB estimated that a diamond changed hands seven to eight times before being finally sold to the consumer, with Blom explaining, “For the WFDB, this makes the need for a common platform even more pressing, so as to bring about more transparency in the industry.”

Following a panel discussion on traceability, provenance and blockchain technology, Blom said, “The WFDB has accepted and embraced the fact that blockchain is here to stay, but it has to be practical and available to each and every member who wants it, not just a select few.”

He confirmed that the WFDB would be contacting a shortlist of blockchain experts to assist in implementing the technology.

 

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More reading:
French gemmology symposium explores diamond industry challenges
The White Diamond Report: Evolution and Survival
De Beers announces diamond traceability platform

 




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