Tiffany & Co. is looking to set a new paradigm for the diamond industry.
Today, the jeweler revealed its ‘Diamond Source Initiative’ — a new program to promote transparency in diamond retailing. Beginning today, consumers will be privy to the provenance — that being the region or country of origin — of all newly mined registered diamonds exceeding 0.18 carats. Provenance will be shared at the Tiffany & Co. case line, incorporated into the merchandising of its love and engagement display cases.
In an announcement, Tiffany chief executive officer Alessandro Bogliolo said, “The Diamond Source Initiative is an exciting and revolutionary undertaking that reflects nearly two decades of investments and advancements in our sustainability efforts.”
The executive defined the program as “a big step for diamond transparency.” It will see each diamond engraved with a serial number that is naked to the human eye. Upon purchase, consumers will be presented with a certificate ensuring the diamond’s origins.
“We commit from today onward to only source diamonds of known origin,” Bogliolo added. But provenance is not where Tiffany’s transparency efforts will end. The jeweler has set a 2020 mission to “begin sharing the craftsmanship journey, including the location where our diamonds are cut and polished in addition to provenance,” Bogliolo said.
The Diamond Source Initiative was spearheaded by Tiffany’s chief sustainability officer Anisa Kamadoli Costa and its senior vice president for diamond and jewelry supply, Andy Hart.
Kamadoli Costa joined Tiffany 15 years ago to start its sustainability program and has since grown a department around the concept of improving Tiffany’s environmental impact and corporate responsibility.
“We are ushering in a new era of transparency for diamonds,” Kamadoli Costa said. “This is something we have long been working on — the sustainable, vertical integration of our supply chain. The fact that we can now bring this forward to the customer is something I’m really proud of. It’s the first step in the process.”
She added that: “This is something we have been working on for two decades at no additional cost to the consumer.”
Hart added of the sourcing initiative: “I think there should be nothing opaque about our diamonds. Younger consumers want to know more about where their product came from and how it came to be. Luxury consumers particularly want to know that information.”
He noted that: “I would like to see the same thing happen for colored gemstones as well. Each category comes from places around the world, and those supply chains are difficult to see through. We are already making progress.”
The Diamond Source Initiative has been announced at a critical time in the diamond industry. The market for lab-grown diamonds is only strengthening — particularly among Millennials who are averse to diamonds’ conflict-riddled past.
In presenting a traceable, responsibly mined option, Tiffany continues its ambitions to court a younger generation, an agenda set by Bogliolo as well as the jeweler’s chief artistic officer, Reed Krakoff.
Now, the jeweler feels it has a competitive advantage in the diamond marketplace.
“Provenance is something no other global luxury jeweler provides and it reflects Tiffany’s leadership in diamonds and superlative standards in sustainability,” Bogliolo said in his address.
According to Kamadoli Costa, the program’s intentions are not only self-serving: “We are able to bring an awareness and help with transparency, not just with our diamonds but in the industry overall — I think that will be a good thing.”