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 Post subject: Going Green: Social Conciousness or Marketing Hype
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:25 am 
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Thoughts please, fellow thinkers.
I have noticed that several merchants are getting on the sustainable band wagon.
Some have branded their identity around it, like Brilliant Earth.
Others, like Blue Nile have noticed there is a demand for "conflict free" and sustainable and added the option to their inventory.

I notice a lot of online venues featuring diamonds from Botswana, but I have yet to see KP documentation supporting their lack of conflict. Actually, I have yet to see any vendors who sell diamonds with KP documentation.

Tiffany & Co. has long been known for doing the ethical thing with minimal fan fare. They just do what they feel is the right thing to do, because they feel it is the right thing to do.

Some ask for donations to help support overseas green mining to make "the entitled ones" feel like they are making a difference. Some claim to donate a percentage of purchase price to aid in elimination the exploitation of the miners.

So......I am curious how OUR members interpret the trend.


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 Post subject: Re: Going Green: Social Conciousness or Marketing Hype
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:31 am 
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I dunno, I think it's important to make that information available so people can made an informed purchase, but to build your entire brand around it seems like capitalizing on a trend to me. I say if it's the right thing to do, just do it and shut up about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Going Green: Social Conciousness or Marketing Hype
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:23 pm 
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I think it's a blend of both. The marketers need to appeal to the consumers. The consumers need to believe no harm was done by their purchase of a product. If that means concocting a "protocol" that relieves the consumers of any guilt feelings, so be it.

Diamonds aren't alone in this process--think about all the Priuses on the road today :roll: .

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 Post subject: Re: Going Green: Social Conciousness or Marketing Hype
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:20 pm 
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Barbra Voltaire wrote:
So......I am curious how OUR members interpret the trend.


being a member - although as a technical Advisor - of an "Ethic committee" including Bulgari, Gucci, Pomellato and other brands i can say there's a high demand of "ethic" labels and policies, it's actually the most shining marketing star nowadays.............the real problem is about our specific field, it's very hard to be effective on the territory where the stones come from. Being ethic can even mean to behave ethically with your coustomers so, wide and clear disclosing policies about synthetics and treatment as a starting point............we are just beginning, let's hope something good will eventually sort out............

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albé

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 Post subject: Re: Going Green: Social Conciousness or Marketing Hype
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:46 pm 
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High end jewelry is the perfect kind of merchandise to go sustainable with. There isn't a lot of it, it's mighty expensive anyway and its buyers are wealthy individuals who can afford spending a bit more in order to get the guarantee that everybody and everything involved was smiling in the process of creating it. It's feasible cause its scale is overseeable (Ha! google doesn't think that is a word. Dumb google).

Mass-produced consumer stuff (which outweighs the high end part by a fair few lengths in market share) has the problem that it depends on volume rather than high margins. In sectors like these one needs large quantities of cheap resources and labor in order to survive as a business. I don't see sustainability taking off on a large scale in the mid and low end of the trade anytime soon. That said, it is a niche... whether the ones that jump in it will flourish I dunno... I hope so...

my €0.02...


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 Post subject: Re: Going Green: Social Conciousness or Marketing Hype
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:10 am 
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high end jewelry as we were used to know and consider does not exist anymore. They decided to made a big turn decades ago already and, nowadays, all the big brands major target clients are not "wealthy people" and price IS something to carefully take into consideration since those people may be happy to spend money on a brand tag but they need to have their budget under control. Million $$$ Fancy pieces are made by those brands essentially as an AD vehicle to attract the middle class (where it still exist..LOL) to purchase 1-3k pieces, very rarely they are sold and, even in that case their impact on those brands turnover is laughable. I don't see big margins available for these "ethic" campaign, but, in the end, that is not the main issue here. As i said, having a good idea on how to produce an effective impact on the weaker elements of the supply chain worth more than simply collect money...........

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 Post subject: Re: Going Green: Social Conciousness or Marketing Hype
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:50 pm 
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Hi,
From our experience in selling gems (in person) around the country, there are some in the consumer sector who have an affinity to know "all the details" as to where a gem came from and how they were handled before purchasing. Such as... any child labor involved, did the workers receive a fair wage for their work, etc. Fortunately, we are in a position that we can answer those questions.

However, this is not necessarily true of many retail operations. Four years ago I met with the owners of Brilliant Earth at their offices in San Francisco. They did not appear to have any interest in the fact we were able to validate the details of the gems we provide, or even the fact that I cut them personally. And that, they already had their sources - but when (very politely) questioned about it, the meeting was immediately over.

And then very recently, we met with one of the buyers from Blue Nile. We probed to determine about sourcing and their values regarding sustainability, avoiding conflict goods and such. Their answer was that their cutters travel frequently overseas to buy rough and their sources were pristine. *and they knew the mines that their goods came from* Really, am not making this up.

While most of our gemstones come from conflict free areas that support a local economy, and having visited hundreds of mines over the years, it isn't like we're wearing this on our sleeve and push it to every retail jeweler we meet with. Though it is part of what we do.

Hope you find this helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Going Green: Social Conciousness or Marketing Hype
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:16 pm 
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I have just been informed that Canada is no longer branding their diamonds with laser inscriptions and KP documentation is not supplied to a customer for diamonds purchased allegedly through the Kimberly Process.
Alrosa's Diamonds come with proper identification.

With the exception of Alrosa, how can anyone claiming they are selling conflict free goods prove it? It is just a matter of their word, or the success of their promotional campaigns.

I find this suspect.


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 Post subject: Re: Going Green: Social Conciousness or Marketing Hype
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:24 am 
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Maple Leaf diamonds are still doing the laser inscription for the Ekati mines diamonds, are they not?


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 Post subject: Re: Going Green: Social Conciousness or Marketing Hype
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:08 am 
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I got this info when I called Brilliant Earth. I would presume there are still companies which do brand their diamonds in Canada, I frankly do not follow this market closely so I don't know.

But that definitely raises the question of how one can prove their diamonds are conflict free if there is no backup documentation or paper trail. I would think this essential.

I also want to emphasize that Brilliant Earth seems to have every good intention and I trust that their inventory is as represented. My concern is that any vendor could claim conflict free without any documentation.


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 Post subject: Re: Going Green: Social Conciousness or Marketing Hype
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:47 am 
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Yep, maple leaf diamonds use the canada mark inscription on the higher quality diamonds, they're tracked from the mine as far as I understand it.


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 Post subject: Re: Going Green: Social Conciousness or Marketing Hype
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:02 pm 
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At first, I couldn't reconcile these two bits:

ROGER DERY wrote:
Four years ago I met with the owners of Brilliant Earth at their offices in San Francisco. They did not appear to have any interest in the fact we were able to validate the details of the gems we provide, or even the fact that I cut them personally. And that, they already had their sources - but when (very politely) questioned about it, the meeting was immediately over.

Barbra Voltaire wrote:
I also want to emphasize that Brilliant Earth seems to have every good intention and I trust that their inventory is as represented.

And then it hit me--when Roger talked to them, perhaps they thought they had all the supply they needed, so there wasn't really any way to gain their interest. And if they're very protective of their sources, where and how they get their stuff is off limits, even in general terms.

Or, they're full of crap and are trying to justify why they can't produce KP documentation ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Going Green: Social Conciousness or Marketing Hype
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:27 am 
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Ethics, Fairtrade, Fairmined, Eco, Recycled they all get confusing. I find the majority of customers don't ask, mind or even care.

My personal opinion is that we should all do what we can to look after the planet and each other globally. Sounds soppy I know. Where possible I use "Eco" branded metal, recycle some of my own, comply with KP process in Diamond sourcing and coloured stone buying, but it's not always possible. All my paperwork is printed on recycled paper apart from valuations as I can't find a high enough quality paper. Maybe I should shout about that more? It's just the way I feel I should be.

The time will come when the majority of consumers will be asking these questions, and if we're all in the habit the answer becomes "of course it is".

As to people the build their brand around it, what will they do when they are in a sea of businesses doing the same? It's happened before. there was an online Eco supermarket in the UK which has now gone because the major supermarkets stock all of their "unique" products.

We should all do our best as far as we can.

As far as conflict goes, it's everywhere. There will always be Burmese stones in the market from the times of trouble or any other location for that matter. Do we ignore it and say it was a while ago? Pretty much yes.

Sorry, it went into a bit of a ramble.

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 Post subject: Re: Going Green: Social Conciousness or Marketing Hype
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:44 pm 
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ROGER DERY wrote:
Hi,
From our experience in selling gems (in person) around the country, there are some in the consumer sector who have an affinity to know "all the details" as to where a gem came from and how they were handled before purchasing. Such as... any child labor involved, did the workers receive a fair wage for their work, etc. Fortunately, we are in a position that we can answer those questions.

However, this is not necessarily true of many retail operations. Four years ago I met with the owners of Brilliant Earth at their offices in San Francisco. They did not appear to have any interest in the fact we were able to validate the details of the gems we provide, or even the fact that I cut them personally. And that, they already had their sources - but when (very politely) questioned about it, the meeting was immediately over.

And then very recently, we met with one of the buyers from Blue Nile. We probed to determine about sourcing and their values regarding sustainability, avoiding conflict goods and such. Their answer was that their cutters travel frequently overseas to buy rough and their sources were pristine. *and they knew the mines that their goods came from* Really, am not making this up.

While most of our gemstones come from conflict free areas that support a local economy, and having visited hundreds of mines over the years, it isn't like we're wearing this on our sleeve and push it to every retail jeweler we meet with. Though it is part of what we do.

Hope you find this helpful.

This is very interesting in light of this video that I found:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yvatzr7pA70


Any insight into why Canadian diamonds stopped being laser signed?


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