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Zimbabwe embargo ~ Blue Nile follows our lead

By Paul Slegers | Jul 4, 2019

Ethical sourcing


The topic of rough diamonds is logically close to our hearts. To that end, at Crafted by Infinity we only purchase crystals from sources where positive beneficiation imperatives bring economic growth and prosperity to local residents in a country’s diamond value chain.

During the past 15 years Zimbabwe’s post-colonial democracy gradually turned into a dictatorship, controlled by Robert Mugabe. At some point he began using diamond-exploration as one of his financial means to remain in power. Keeping control over Zimbabwe's Marange diamond-fields spawned major abuses of power and major bloodshed

A big political problem arose for the diamond-industry in 2010 when Zimbabwe was officially allowed to export rough diamonds under the Kimberley Process. If you wonder how this is possible, the Kimberley Process was designed to fight human-rights-abuses of rebel-groups but had no legal powers to stop a country’s legal government from performing similar atrocities.

At Crafted by Infinity we immediately saw this problem. From 2010 we made the decision to avoid any suppliers dealing in Zimbabwe-origin rough. And because that rough has a very specific tint and composition it was easy for us to verify our remaining suppliers were true to their word.


2013 

With no solution in sight by 2013 we decided to take our Zimbabwe-policy two steps further.

  1. We required our suppliers to provide written assurance that crystals we were purchasing were not originating from Zimbabwe. 
  2. Once we were sure all inventory was covered, we published the same assurance toward our retailers. 

By shipping goods pursuant to this invoice, we warrant that, to the best of our knowledge, the diamonds invoiced have not originated from Zimbabwe and have received similar assurance of non-Zimbabwe origin from any supplier from whom we have obtained the diamonds invoiced.

We took this step to provide confidence of non-Zimbabwe origin above and beyond that of the United Nations and the Kimberley Process.

Our online retail partner High Performance Diamonds quickly followed by producing the same non-Zimbabwe assurance on their invoices to consumers.

For some years High Performance Diamonds has been the only diamond retailer we know who has provided this non-Zimbabwe assurance to their clients.

2019

Six years later we welcome Blue Nile following our example.

First published in Business Times Zimbabwe, we were pleased to read about the decision. And now we see the confirmation of their Zimbabwe diamond embargo published for consumers to read on the Blue Nile Ethical Sourcing page.

Blue Nile is committed to ensuring that the highest ethical standards are observed when sourcing our diamonds and jewelry. Because of the reported human rights abuses in Zimbabwe's Marange diamond district, Blue Nile will not purchase or offer diamonds from that area. As a responsible member of the diamond and jewelry industry, we are working with our suppliers to ensure our consumers receive only the finest goods procured from ethical sources. 

It really feels good to have such a powerful player joining our fight and we hope it will draw further attention to this matter.

If you would like to read more on this topic, including what consumers can do to help, please visit the High Performance Diamonds page on responsible sourcing. It may also be interesting to read more about the two-way protection practices in place with High Performance Diamonds in their Anti-Money-Laundering FAQ.


Paul Slegers

Paul Slegers

Paul Slegers is the Founder and Managing Director of Crafted by Infinity diamonds. After obtaining a degree in Commercial Engineering he began working in the Antwerp diamond industry in 1989. In his original capacity as the COO of a DeBeers' sightholder, Mr. Slegers specialized in the manufacturing and trading of both rough and polished diamonds. Later, as COO of Adri Diamond Tools, a market leader in modern diamond-cutting equipment, he expanded his experience by innovating technical cutting solutions for mass-manufacturers in the Far East as well as niche-quality manufacturers in Antwerp. This unique combination of experiences led to the establishment of Crafted by Infinity; where his knowledge, experience and passion have come together.


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