“The social and economic value of diamonds is very different depending on where they come from in the world,” Mr. Moltke said on a video call earlier this month from his home in Antwerp, Belgium. He moved to the city, a diamond trading hub, after leaving De Beers, where he had worked for 16 years, including five years in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital.
“I saw firsthand how these diamonds do good and how important it is for those communities who live off them,” he said.
This month, International Diamond Center, a 12-store jewelry retailer based in Clearwater, Fla., is planning to introduce Botswanamark’s branded diamonds at four of its stores, Mr. Moltke said, adding that the consumer experience will be similar to the De Beers model.
Greg Kwiat, chief executive of Kwiat Diamonds, a diamond jewelry brand in New York City, said the company’s Mine to Shine traceability program, introduced in June, was likewise based on a desire to show how diamonds positively affect the communities in Africa where they are mined.
Consumers who buy Kwiat diamonds are able to follow their stones from the mine through the stages of cutting and setting into jewelry. “Right now, we’re sharing videos and imagery of the process as it’s occurring,” Mr. Kwiat said. “At the end, you get this aggregated video from start to finish as a wonderful shareable memento.”
Pressure From Consumers
Proving mined diamonds’ origins is something the diamond industry has focused on since the late 1990s, when the blood-diamond crisis shook consumer confidence in the trade. In 2003, a coalition of governments, civil society and diamond industry established the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, aimed at preventing the flow of conflict diamonds.