|As part of an ongoing campaign to educate both consumers and the trade about important diamond-related issues, the diamond industry hosts an informational website, www.diamondfacts.org|
Our Diamond Sourcing Policy
You as a customer can be confident that concrete and comprehensive measures are being taken to ensure the products we sell do not include Conflict Diamonds.
The source of our diamonds is something that we take very seriously.
We are appalled by the violence in countries where proceeds from the sale of diamonds and other natural resources (e.g. oil, timber) are used to fund rebel activities or lead to human rights abuses.
All nations with significant involvement in the diamond trade agreed on a global certification system to control the export and import of rough diamonds mined from January 1, 2003. This system is aimed at preventing criminals from introducing contraband diamonds mined in African combat zones into the legitimate supply chain. Since 2003, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), supported by national and international legislation, has sought to certify the legitimate origin of uncut diamonds.
Kimberley Process members ("Members") account for approximately 99.8% of the global production of rough diamonds.
We welcomed this important development and are actively supporting the system designed to safeguard our products' integrity.
The Kimberley Process ("KP") has done more than just stem the flow of conflict diamonds, it has also helped stabilize fragile countries and supported their development. As the KP has made life harder for criminals, it has brought large volumes of diamonds onto the legal market that would not otherwise have made it there. This has increased the revenues of poor governments, and helped them to address their countries' development challenges. For instance, some $98 million worth of diamonds were legally exported from Sierra Leone in 2008, compared to almost none at the end of the 1990s (source: Tacy Ltd).
Role of Governments
As of January 2012, 50 Participants, representing 76 countries (the European Union and its member states count as an individual participant), had adopted the KPCS. It requires that each shipment of rough diamonds - before stones are cut and polished - be in a tamper-resistant container and accompanied by a government-validated certificate. Each certificate is uniquely numbered and contains data describing the shipment's contents.
Participating countries have pledged to turn back or impound shipments of rough diamonds from any nation that fails to subscribe to the KPCS standards. Shipments lacking proper certification will be treated in a similar way.
At later stages of the diamonds' journey to market, rough diamonds also carry a certificate describing the shipment's contents and confirming that the stones are coming from a Kimberley Process participant. Any country declining to participate is effectively barred from the international diamond trade. Learn more at www.kimberleyprocess.com
Role of Industry
To supplement the government program, the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) - representing virtually all significant processors and traders - have established a regimen of self-regulation. Its principal element is a system of warranties that will accompany invoices covering the sale of rough diamonds, polished diamonds and diamond jewelry. The requirement applies to rough diamonds mined after December 31, 2002, and products fabricated from them.
Participants in the KPCS must have internal controls to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the supply chain of legitimate diamonds and must carry out annual audit compliance. Furthermore, participants only trade with counterparts who themselves have met the minimum requirements of the certification system.
Role of the Retailer
This information outlines the steps we and the industry have been taking to address conflict diamonds. All of the diamonds we buy are warranted to be sourced from KPCS compliant countries. Retailers who support the Kimberley Process must buy diamonds and diamond jewelry from dealers and manufacturers who adhere to the System of Warranties. We follow this policy. All diamonds and diamond jewelry merchandise that we buy that is derived from rough diamonds must be accompanied by a warranty from the supplier. This warranty assures us that the supplier vouches for the legitimacy of the merchandise and that the supplier, in turn, has required the same warranty from their sources of merchandise.
Our Source of Diamonds
We fully support the Kimberley Process and require all our trade suppliers of diamonds and diamond jewelry to provide us with a warranty that they do not supply us with conflict diamonds.
The warranty is as follows:
"The diamonds herein invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations Resolutions. The seller hereby guarantees that these diamonds are conflict free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the supplier of these diamonds."
KPCS certificates for rough diamonds and warranties for polished diamonds received from suppliers are kept at our central office. Compliance with KPCS regulations, the World Diamond Council, the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association, and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses is reviewed annually by our company's internal audit department. The results are reported to the Corporation's Audit Committee.
You can be confident that concrete and comprehensive measures are being taken to ensure the products we sell do not include conflict diamonds.
If you have further questions, please contact Customer Relations at 1-800-877-8169.
Gemstones from Myanmar/Burma
We take supply chain issues seriously and the events in Myanmar/Burma are very disturbing.
Our vision and commitments are expressed in our Social, Ethical & Environmental Principles. Our company has been working for many years on issues that are of concern to our entire industry, and have joined other organizations to drive positive change throughout the supply chain. For example, our company is a founding member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and the World Diamond Council (WDC), and, in the United States, a member of Jewelers of America (JA) and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC).
Given our deep concern about the unrest in Myanmar/Burma, and its military government's human rights violations, beginning October 12, 2007 we required that suppliers do not knowingly sell us any gemstones of Burmese origin. We also issued instructions to our suppliers, requiring that they confirm on all future orders placed that the gemstones provided were not knowingly mined in Myanmar/Burma.
In addition, we implemented an independent, third-party country-of-origin quality assurance random testing program of our ruby jewelry in partnership with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the world¿s largest and most respected non-profit institute of gemological research and learning.
The Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta¿s Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008 was approved unanimously by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush in July 2008. It went into effect on September 27, 2008 and enforcement of the law¿s requirements began on October 27, 2008 following a 30-day grace period granted by the US Customs and Border Protection agency.
It outlaws the importation of Burmese-origin rubies and jade. It does not cover other types of precious gemstones produced by Burma, nor does it forbid the sale of Burmese-origin gems legally imported to the US under prior rules.
Since we are not direct importers of rubies, we have received written confirmation from our suppliers that they are taking the legally required steps to comply to the JADE Act. We have also maintained our independent, third-party, country-of-origin testing of rubies that are provided to us by our suppliers.
Gold Supply Chain Information
- We expect our business partners to adhere to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. We take the impact of our company's supply chain seriously and we believe that gold should be extracted and processed in a manner that respects the needs of current and future generations.
- We believe that it is best to strive for improvements in mining practices and supply chain conditions through industry initiatives so as to maximize our effectiveness in addressing these issues. Such industry bodies have much greater credibility with governments and international organizations, whose co-operation is essential in successfully tackling these matters.
- We believe meaningful reform must incorporate a wide range of industry stakeholders to ensure that responsible practices are developed and can be followed all the way through the supply chain. Without the engagement of all segments of our industry, individual commitments to responsible practices by retailers will not in the long term solve the problems highlighted by groups such as No Dirty Gold.
- Therefore, the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), a non-profit organization, was founded in May 2005. RJC is unique in that it seeks to promote and develop responsible social, ethical and environmental business practices throughout the diamond and gold jewelry supply chain from mine to retail. Membership of RJC is comprised of companies and trade groups that, in total, are representative of the entire supply chain, from mine to retail.
- Jewelers of America, the national trade association of retail jewelers, of which we are a member, is one of the founders of RJC, as were we.
- The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has developed a set of Principles and a Code of Practice for companies from mining through to retail involved in the worldwide diamond and gold jewelry industry. RJC has consulted widely with many stakeholders in the jewelry industry on the development of its Principles, and it's Code of Practices which have now been published and outline the ethical, social, human rights and environmental practices to which RJC members should adhere. This includes a comprehensive mining specific responsible sourcing code.
- RJC requires that members have independent auditors verify their compliance with responsible practices, as defined by the RJC Code of Practices. In addition, RJC plans to introduce a Mining Supplement to its system later this year.
- RJC believes there is a need for an open and transparent approach and believes that by working in collaboration with civil society and governments it can promote and develop responsible business practices throughout the supply chain. Therefore, RJC places importance on ensuring that interested parties, including NGOs, are represented and given the opportunity to be part of the overall consultation process.
- For more information regarding RJC's mission statement, founding members, and other information, please visit www.responsiblejewellery.com.
- In addition, we have also been supportive of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), launched in Vancouver, Canada, in June 2006. IRMA consists of jewelry and gold miners, industry bodies, and human/environmental rights groups, which have been working together to develop comprehensive responsible sourcing standards for mining operations.
- For more detailed information about responsible gold mining, please go to www.trustingold.com, and responsiblemining.net.
- If you require further information, please contact Customer Care at 1-800-877-8169.
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Corporate Social Responsibility