GET TO KNOW: A closer look at Tiffany’s diamond source initiative

This week Tiffany & Co revealed plans to disclose the provenance of its newly sourced stones and give consumers more information about each piece’s crafting journey.

The new provenance programme, dubbed the Diamond Source Initiative, Tiffany & Co is tracing each of its individually registered diamonds (0.18 carats and larger) by a unique ‘T&Co’ serial number etched by laser and invisible to the naked eye, and providing consumers with geographic sourcing information specific to their diamond.

This initiative will be rolled out in the following stages.

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Effective Today
• Provenance information will be merchandised in Love & Engagement caselines in Tiffany stores around the world, alongside a selection of diamond rings with their individual provenance clearly displayed. In addition, geographic sourcing information for all individually registered diamonds will be made available to consumers via Tiffany & Co. sales professionals and customer service.

• Tiffany & Co. is committing to 100% geographic transparency for every newly sourced, individually registered diamond, and will not source any diamonds with unknown provenance (even if responsible sourcing is assured) moving forward.

Plans for Q1 2019
• Tiffany will begin including provenance on the Tiffany Diamond Certificate for individually registered diamonds, alongside the stone’s other specifications, information not made available on other industry lab reports or by other global luxury jewelers.

Plans for 2020
• Tiffany will begin sharing craftsmanship journey (such as cutting and polishing workshop location) in addition to provenance.

Although current diamond industry practices preclude the identification of provenance for many of the world’s diamonds, Tiffany aims to to be an industry leader by bringing a new level of transparency to its diamond supply chain.

In cases where provenance is unknown – such as heritage stones that predate this policy – Tiffany will provide confirmation that the diamond was sourced with industry leading practices.

Tiffany & Co. is quites unique among global luxury jewellers in owning and operating its own diamond polishing workshops around the world – where 1,500+ Tiffany artisans ensure superlative diamond quality and craftsmanship. To highlight this “competitive” difference, by 2020, Tiffany will also share the craftsmanship journey of its diamonds along with its provenance.

Since 1999, Tiffany has been investing in vertical integration and prioritising its supply chain transparency. Approximately 80-90% of Tiffany’s individually registered diamonds (by volume) have been supplied through Tiffany operations in Belgium, Botswana, Mauritius, Vietnam and Cambodia, where craftspeople plan, saw and/or cut and polish rough diamonds from known, responsibly managed mines, most of which are in Botswana, Canada, Namibia, Russia and South Africa. For the remaining 10-20%, Tiffany’s trusted suppliers of polished diamonds have complied with Tiffany’s Diamond Source Warranty Protocol, which warrants the diamonds did not originate in countries with diamond-related human rights concerns, such as Zimbabwe and Angola (even though these diamonds are accepted under the Kimberley Process).

From today, those suppliers will be required to go beyond a warranty of ‘conflict-free’ to affirmatively state the geographic source of any polished diamonds sold to Tiffany including region or countries of origin.

The brands says the move is not motivated by consumer behaviours, but rather a desire to be transparent and bring its customers along on the journey of a Tiffany diamond.

The move does however form part of an effort among jewellers to attract younger shoppers and Tiffany’s latest brand direction reflects this from the opening of the Blue Box Café in 2017 at the New York flagship store to the launch of the interactive style studio in Covent Garden.

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