Tuesday, 13 November 2012


It’s easy to overlook headlines when I receive so many jewellery news blogs.  This one would have been missed by many, but since attending the RJC meeting in Las Vegas, I can tell you that this is very BIG news. 

The RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council) has just added DeBeers to their membership list.  Here’s the significance.  Whenever some do-gooder says, “everyone in the jewellery business should agree to be more environmental, and ensure safe and ethical working conditions,” it takes a supreme effort to define it and then get significant players on board.  Sure, everyone in a conference room will applaud that something should be done by somebody, but secretly the largest companies might not honestly be able to take the moral high-ground because somewhere in their supply chain, someone is using child labor, abusing mother-earth, or taking shortcuts to maximize profits.

DeBeers is the first large-scale mining company to sign-on.  Once you get one major force in the industry marketing that they are certified, others are sure to follow … which leads to REAL CHANGE. 

Here’s something I learned in Vegas.  It is the responsibility of RJC members to insist that everyone in their upstream supply-chain conduct business according to RJC guidelines.  When you’ve got a company like DeBeers holding their suppliers, subcontractors and partners to the same code; that affects a lot of businesses.  As the RJC designation becomes more pervasive in our industry, we will have more channels for certifiable ethically sourced jewellery.

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