De Beers’ Sightholders can now Identify its diamonds as DTC; a New DTC Website underway with end-to-end information about mines, auditing reports and sustainability

In an exclusive interview with Diamond World, David Prager, De Beers’ Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs, answers a couple of very important questions regarding this sudden albeit important move:
courtesy: De Beers
courtesy: De Beers

In a sudden move earlier this month, the De Beers Group has decided to allow its sightholders to identify the source of its diamonds as DTC Diamonds. DTC or Diamond Trading Co used to be an old sales and marketing arm of De Beers; the entity was shut down a few years ago as De Beers decided to keep everything under the name De Beers itself. However, sometime in February or March, the DTC website will be fully functional and will have all the information regarding De Beers’ mines, diamonds, their statistics and so on.

In an exclusive interview with Diamond World, David Prager, De Beers’ Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs, answers a couple of very important questions regarding this sudden albeit important move:

DW: Why the sudden move, of allowing sight holders to identify diamond purchases from De Beers as DTC? 

Prager: De Beers Group has a long been a leader in the industry when it comes to issues of responsibility and transparency. We established our Best Practice Principles (BPP) programme - a set of ethical standards that promote the highest corporate, environmental and social conduct in the diamond pipeline - in 2003 to ensure diamond jewellery consumers could be proud of the source of their diamond and the route it travelled to market. 

 Today, the BPPs are internationally recognised and cover around 360,000 people across the diamond industry, from Sightholders and Accredited Buyers to contractors engaged in diamond-related activities such as cutting, polishing and jewellery manufacturing, as well as around 20,000 De Beers Group employees. 
This is a remarkable success story and our Sightholders have asked us to help them find ways to tell it.

DTC continues to have strong resonance within the diamond industry, and it is the trading name of our sales organisation. It was therefore a natural evolution for us to enable our Sightholders to site DTC as a source of origin, and they are very enthusiastic about the idea. 
And this is only one step in our pursuit to provide consumers with complete confidence in the diamonds they buy.

For the past year we have been investing in and leading the development of the diamond industry’s first end-to-end blockchain-backed asset-tracking platform called Tracr. Tracr is focused on earning a consumer’s trust by tracking a diamond from its source all the way to the jewellery store, providing more information on a diamond’s provenance, route to market and authenticity than ever before possible. 

DW: Why has De Beers chosen to use its old name DTC instead of De Beers itself when it comes to citing the source of its diamonds?

Prager: There are two key reasons for this. First, we have a responsibility to avoid any consumer confusion as we already market and sell diamonds at the retail level using the De Beers brand via De Beers Jewellers and Forevermark. Our aim is less confusion and more transparency, so we don’t want to inadvertently give consumers the impression that a diamond is a Forevermark diamond when it isn’t or that it comes from a De Beers Jewellers store when it doesn’t. We felt that DTC, which is the trading name of our sales organisation and retains strong resonance within the industry, would eliminate that confusion. DTC gives industry participants with confidence that the diamonds they are purchasing have originated from a reputable source, while avoiding the risk of consumer confusion. 

 In addition, the De Beers brand stands for something meaningful, and it would be irresponsible for any company to allow others to use its brand without having oversight of all aspects of how it is used and control over the product pipeline and distribution. 
We are really proud that this solution will go further than other companies in terms of the relevance of the source information. Beyond the use of the DTC name providing confirmation that diamonds have come from a reputable corporate source, we will also develop online reference content to ensure full visibility of the responsible approach of the mines from which we source our diamonds.

 A refresh of the DTC website is underway that will provide detailed information about each mine, including relevant audit reports and sustainability information. This goes beyond a statement of company of origin, and will help businesses in the diamond industry communicate the positive impact the diamonds they are trading have on countries and communities.




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