Sourcing

Diamond producers pool their resources

SourcingJun 03, 2015

Diamond producers pool their resources

The world’s largest diamond mining companies have formed an association to buoy demand for mined diamonds, but won’t be doing generic marketing on the scale that De Beers once did.

Las Vegas--The world’s largest diamond mining companies have formed an association to buoy demand among consumers, particularly millennials, for mined diamonds.

Called the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), the organization rose “from the ashes” of the International Diamond Board, the industry’s last attempt at pooling resources to create a generic marketing campaign for diamonds.

However, its focus is more targeted--and its budget is too small--for a generic marketing campaign on the scale of what De Beers used to do in halcyon days gone by.

Alrosa, De Beers, Rio Tinto and four smaller mining companies--Dominion Diamond Corp., Lucara Diamond Corp., Gem Diamonds and Petra Diamonds--are the seven founding members of the association and have pledged a combined total of $18 million over the next three years to start its functions, with the larger mining companies paying in more.

That is much less than the hundreds of millions of dollars De Beers used to pour into its advertising campaigns each year.

“Everyone’s asked about generic marketing and we put it out there, the first budget we are aiming at is around $6 million (a year), and I wish anybody luck trying to do generic marketing for $6 million,” Jim Pounds, an executive vice president with Dominion, said in an interview with National Jeweler  at JCK Las Vegas.

“What the focus of the DPA … will be (is) to maintain the desire for diamonds, and I think that’s very important … the young millennial generation, the next round of people going out to buy diamonds, we want them to have a desire for natural diamonds and to maintain that.”

In other words: the companies that mine diamonds want to protect their product as the interest in, and quantity of, lab-grown gem-quality diamonds increases.

Pounds said they also want to protect consumer confidence in diamonds, which have been hit with a number of disclosure scandals as of late.

There have been several discoveries of undisclosed lab-grown diamonds--including the 145 man-made diamonds submitted to IGI in Antwerp as natural stones a few years back--and the recent issue with the undisclosed, and still undefined, color treatment discovered by the Gemological Institute of America in Israel.

“No,” Pounds answered quickly when asked if he sees non-disclosure as an issue. “But there are isolated cases that you read in the press. We don’t see as a problem. But … we don’t want it to become a problem.”

Proper disclosure, he added, is an issue that concerns the entire jewelry industry. “You’ve got to be sure that whether you’re buying gold … and when you’re buying a diamond, it is what it says on the certificate or what the jeweler sells it to you as.”

While more specifics will come later in the year after the DPA hires an executive director, the press release announcing its formation lists maintaining and enhancing consumer demand for and confidence in diamonds, providing a reliable source of trade and consumer research, and acting as the unified voice of the diamond producers among its mandates.

RELATED CONTENT: ‘A Diamond is Forever’ is back

The association also seems open to collaboration with other industry organizations. Forevermark CEO Stephen Lussier said at the Rapaport breakfast held Sunday in Las Vegas that the DPA is not going to do generic marketing on its own but will collaborate with others, and that “idea leadership” is needed.

The DPA will be incorporated in London but based in New York and will operate in compliance with all applicable competition and antitrust laws.

Pounds said they aim to have selected an executive director, which will be a full-time, salaried position, by the third quarter.

Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

Policies & IssuesMay 14, 2021
Petra Reaches $6M Settlement Amid Claims of Human Rights Abuses

A report by a nonprofit documented an alleged seven deaths and 41 assaults on artisanal miners at the Williamson mine in Tanzania.

AuctionsMay 14, 2021
Phillips’ New Selling Exhibition Celebrates Female Designers

It features pieces from the likes of Solange Azagury-Partridge, Suzanne Belperron, Marina B, and Silvia Furmanovich.

Recorded WebinarsMay 14, 2021
Watch: Dissecting the Vintage Watch Craze

Watchfinder & Co. US Country Manager Edouard Caumon talks the timepieces retaining value and current marketplace trends.

Brought to you by
How to Engage and Sell to Millennials

Millennials were once feared in the diamond industry, but now this younger generation has become today’s largest diamond buying demographic.

TrendsMay 14, 2021
Piece of the Week: Deirdre Featherstone’s Amber Drop Earrings

They’re perfect for welcoming “Springtime in New York.”

Weekly QuizMay 14, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of May 10-14, 2021.
Take the Quiz
AuctionsMay 13, 2021
The 100-Carat ‘Spectacle’ Diamond Sells for $14M

It sold at the low end of its estimated range at Christie’s jewelry auction in Geneva.

MajorsMay 13, 2021
Sotheby’s Opens ‘The Emporium’ Retail Store in New York

The company celebrated its debut by collaborating with beauty entrepreneur Gucci Westman for a special edit of luxury items.

Brought to you by
A New Golden Age

Gold has had its share of ups and downs over the last 5 decades. Here’s why the metal is having another big comeback.

TechnologyMay 13, 2021
Tacori Bridal Collection Heads to Brilliant Earth

The customization-friendly retailer will carry more than 20 of Tacori’s most popular bridal designs.

×