GemFair has announced that its first ethically sourced stones from the artisanal and small-scale diamond mining (ASM) sector have now been sold.

GemFair is a De Beers programme that is designed to help formalise and legitimise the ASM sector.

Now its first dedicated parcels of ethically sourced, traceable ASM diamonds have sold via De Beers Group Auctions.

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Rough diamonds sourced from GemFair-registered ASM sites in Sierra Leone were made available for sale at the auction event.

The lots presented for sale contained diamonds of varying qualities and sizes, with the largest weighing 11 carats. All lots were sold.

Steve Allan, head of GemFair, said: “This is a very exciting milestone for GemFair and the artisanal miners who are part of our programme.

“Since starting operations in 2018, we’ve been focused on bringing beautiful, traceable, ethically sourced ASM diamonds to market and to demonstrate that buying diamonds from artisanal and small-scale miners in a responsible way is the right thing to do and has the potential to be transformative for the sector.”

“We’ve had a lot of interest from diamond buyers and jewellery designers in GemFair diamonds.

“We will continue to work at finding the best ways to bring the unique story of GemFair diamonds, and the role they have played in providing equal opportunity and enhanced working standards for artisanal miners, to a wider audience.

“Despite the challenges, we are inspired by the partnerships we have built with the artisanal miners in Kono and look forward to continuing to expand and deepen our impact.”