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SCS Global Services Launches Sustainability Pilot

It’s to audit and analyze lab grown diamonds against a stringent set of sustainability criteria.

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(PRESS RELEASE) EMERYVILLE, CA – SCS Global Services (SCS) announces the launch of a groundbreaking pilot to audit and analyze lab grown diamonds against a stringent set of sustainability criteria. The pilot audits follow the decision announced earlier this year by the Lab Grown Diamond Council to retain SCS, an internationally recognized third-party certifier and standards developer, to create the world’s first independent ‘product’ sustainability certification standard for diamonds.

The market for lab grown diamonds is growing rapidly, creating the need to not only prevent fraud, but independently substantiate and differentiate product sustainability claims. The sustainability performance criteria address key environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, including a commitment to becoming climate neutral. These criteria will be reviewed through a multi-stakeholder process, informed by the results of the pilot assessments. A multi-stakeholder Standard Review Committee is being established to oversee the process, which will include academia, producers, retailers, nonprofit organizations, and other experts in the field.

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“The pilot audits mark an important step in the process of certifying sustainability,” says Stanley Mathuram, SCS vice president. “Through the audits, we will be able to ground-truth assumptions about laboratory operations involved in the creation of lab-grown diamonds, ensure that the standard’s criteria fully capture the potential range of issues, and better equip the Standard Review Committee to do its work.”

The certification will support the lab diamond growers’ business-to-business sustainability claims to distribution and retail customers. Recent consumer research, “The Need for Third Party Verification of Mined and Lab Grown Diamond Claims,” conducted by MVI Marketing, a leading market research and analysis firm for the worldwide gem and jewelry industries, found that more than 85% of jewelry purchasers view independent, third-party verification of the social and environmental impact of any diamond they consider purchasing as important.

Lab grown diamonds are physically identical to mined diamonds. They are currently produced under proprietary laboratory processes know as High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD), both of which are extremely energy intensive. The sustainability standard, while addressing energy consumption, will also address a wide range of metrics.

Several companies have committed as early adopters to participate in the pilot, setting themselves apart as leaders in sustainability and transparency. “We applaud these companies for stepping up to participate in the pilot,” said Mr. Mathuram of SCS, noting that this will put them squarely on the path toward certification. Pilot participants and supporters include:

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Leon Peres, CEO of Green Rocks, a vertically integrated high-tech grower and old-world diamond cutter:

“Third-party product sustainability certification will assure our customers that our diamonds are exactly what we say they are – sustainably and responsibly grown and cut. This certification is extremely important to our industry, and we intend to support it in any way we can.”

Nadja Swarovski, member of the Swarovski Executive Board, a respected international purveyor of gemstones and committed producer of lab created diamonds:

“Through independent certification, the lab grown diamond sector has an opportunity to demonstrate that it is delivering on its sustainability promises. We have committed to get our supply chain certified to confirm that responsible practices are in place.”

Anmol Bhansali, of Goldiam, a major CVD diamond grower based in India, and a foremost manufacturer of diamond-studded jewelry focused on export for major global retailers:

“We welcome this development. The certification will underscore the value-added proposition represented by lab grown diamonds, both for today’s evolving consumer and in our industry’s convoluted supply chain.”

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Silviu Reinhorn, CEO of Lusix, an Israel-based producer of unique pyramid-shaped lab- grown rough diamonds with the highest yield in the industry:

“Product sustainability certification is just the right move for this emerging market. Certification will debunk certain misconceptions in the market and will give owners of lab grown diamonds one more validation point.”

Julie Yoakum, Chief Merchandising Officer, Helzberg Diamonds, a Berkshire Hathaway Company with over 200 stores nationwide, and the retail leader in lab grown diamonds:

“As the retail leader in lab grown diamonds, Helzberg embraces transparency and integrity throughout the entire process from source to customer. Supporting the effort of benchmarking the sustainability of lab-grown diamonds is a logical fit for us.”

Yarden Tsach, President and Chief Technology Officer, WD Lab Grown Diamonds, a market leader in Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) diamonds:

“We fully embrace the opportunity to develop responsible and transparent standards. This is a critical step in what we know today’s consumer will demand of the category.”

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GIA Commits $1.3M to Artisanal Mining Education Project

It’s a four-year commitment.

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(PRESS RELEASE) CARLSBAD, CA – Building on a successful pilot and feedback from small-scale colored gemstone miners in Tanzania, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) will expand distribution of its innovative gem guide for artisanal miners to other communities and countries in Africa. Speaking at the ICA Congress in Bangkok on Oct. 15, GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques announced a four-year, $1.3 million commitment, funded from the GIA endowment, to expand the program in Tanzania to Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia. Working withPact, a Washington D.C.-based international development nonprofit organization with expertise in the region, GIA plans to reach 10,000 miners with relevant information on how to evaluate the quality of the rough they mine.

“This is a tremendous step forward in our efforts to bring information directly to artisanal miners right at the beginning of the gem and jewelry supply chain,” said Jacques. “We know that this investment will bring an invaluable benefit to miners, their families and the communities in which they live.”

Robert Weldon, GIA director of the Richard T. Liddicoat Library and Information Center, pictured with an artisanal miner from Tunduru, Tanzania.

The gem guide project began shortly after GIA Distinguished Research Fellow Dr. James Shigley saw the difficult working conditions of artisanal miners during a 2008 trip to Kenya and Tanzania. Dr. Shigley and Dona Dirlam, then-director of the GIA library, working with GIA research and library staff, created the booklet, “Selecting Gem Rough: A Guide for Artisanal Miners.” First developed in English and later translated into Swahili, the photo-rich booklet has images of the gemstones found in East Africa and illustrations of how to examine and evaluate rough gems. The booklet is waterproof and comes with a durable plastic tray that can be used to sort gems and do basic gemological evaluations. GIA piloted the program in 2016, working with Pact.

“We found that for every dollar invested, there was a 12-fold social return that will last years into the future,” said Cristina M. Villegas, technical program manager for Pact’s Mines to Markets program. “With their new knowledge, miners improve their income, send their children to school, invest in their mines and their communities.”

GIA staff, including Robert Weldon, current director of the Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center at GIA and a major contributor to the development and content of the guide, trained more than 1,000 artisanal miners on how to use the guide and tray during a two-week period earlier this year in Tanzania. GIA’s initial efforts to provide information to small scale, artisanal miners came full circle when the GIA team visited the Tanzanian Association of Women Miners (TAWOMA), who participated in the very first training session for the guide.

“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the reaction of the miners as they learn the material – you instantly see that you’ve positively made a change in someone’s life,” said Weldon. “These transcendent moments make us so proud that we can provide artisanal miners with a gem guide that gives them the confidence to know their value in the market.”

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Brooklyn Jewelers Launches Newest Line

It’s called “Neighborhoods Collection”.

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(PRESS RELEASE) BROOKLYN, NY – Brooklyn Jewelers announces the official launch of its newest line, the new “Neighborhoods Collection”. Taking inspiration from the art and fashion trends of Brooklyn, this collection is designed with millennials in mind. All of our jewelry is available in castings with select styles offered finished (in white, yellow, rose, 14K, 18K, palladium, and platinum).

For more information, contact: info@brooklynjewelers.com or call (718) 534-4408

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Check out our website: brooklynjewelers.com

We are also on Facebook and Instagram: @brooklynjewelers

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David Sexton of Jewelers Mutual Group Retires

He retires after 39 years with Jewelers Mutual.

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David Sexton

(PRESS RELEASE) NEENAH, WI – Earlier this week, Jewelers Mutual Group announced the retirement of longtime vice president of Loss Prevention and Consulting, David Sexton, CPCU.

Sexton began his association with Jewelers Mutual in 1980 as an Underwriting Assistant and enhanced his career through roles in commercial lines customer service, CL underwriting, and specialty account management, becoming vice president of Loss Prevention and Consulting in 2004.

In this critical loss prevention leadership role, Sexton was responsible for the development, recommendation and implementation of Jewelers Mutual’s loss prevention policy. He is credited with building key relationships between Jewelers Mutual with the jewelry, alarm, and law enforcement communities, to effectively promote comprehensive loss prevention strategies to reduce jewelry exposures to loss.

“It was never about me, it was always about us,” Sexton said.

Sexton will officially retire from Jewelers Mutual on December 31, 2019, however he plans to remain involved with the company for the foreseeable future through engagement with Jewelers Mutual associates, jewelry associations at industry events, and collaborations with agents/brokers. He will continue to work with the Jewelers Mutual executive team to ensure key relationships and partnerships he has helped forge remain strong.

“I will always treasure the relationships I have made during my association with Jewelers Mutual,” Sexton said. “My retirement is not an end, but rather a beginning. The leadership of Jewelers Mutual has a clear path for continuing our vital loss prevention mission to provide innovative risk management solutions for the industry we serve, not just insurance.”

Sexton, a member of the 24 Karat Club of New York, currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, a nonprofit association devoted to reducing crimes against the jewelry industry, as well as the Canadian Jewellers Association. In 2016, Sexton was the recipient of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance Industry Service Award and in 2018 he received the American Gem Society’s John J. Kennedy Law Enforcement Award.

Sexton has served on the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Security Systems Council, formerly known as the Burglary Protection Council, since 1994 and also serves as a corporate member of UL in the insurance category. He served on the Central Station Alarm Association’s Insurance Liaison Committee, which assisted in the development of the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) burglar alarm modular certificate program and remains active on several UL/ULC Standard Technical Panels through which UL/ULC develops and maintain their standards for safety.

“You’re known by the company you keep,” Sexton said. “It’s all about the people. Working with people to help them solve their risk management challenges has really been the most rewarding aspect of my insurance career.”

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