Tiffany & Co. is one of the leading jewelers to spearhead the use of conflict free diamonds. They work diligently to ensure their diamonds are ethically sourced, from the beginning to the end.
The jewelry business, especially the diamond business, has been riddled with major conflict products. From blood diamonds to wars, there has been much neglect to these daily occurring issues. Many people don’t look at their diamond and think ‘where did this come from?’ or ‘who was hurt in order for me to own this?’. Tiffany thinks about these questions and actively works on solving these issues. In 2015 they appointed their first chief sustainability officer, whose main job and responsibility is to continue and grow Tiffany’s work on ethically sourced products. Tiffany heavily focuses on their supply chain and sourcing. This can be a very time consuming process as keeping track of diamonds is challenging. They can be so minuscule and do not come with a barcode for tracking. Tiffany has very high standards with their own process for tracking, starting with the rough diamond, to cutting, polishing, grading and setting.
Tiffany Diamonds are conflict-free certified and ethically sourced
The Kimberley Process was created in order to guarantee conflict-free diamonds. It is a certification system that attempts to stop rough diamonds from entering the global market illegally. There are currently 54 countries involved with this endeavour. Tiffany abides by this as well as goes above and beyond what is required. Due to this high standard of ethics, Tiffany purchases rough diamonds from known mines in Botswana, Canada, Namibia, Russia, Sierra Leone and South Africa (as reported in their 2016 Sustainability Report).
When choosing their mines, they are not only looking at environmental impacts, but social and political as well. Tiffany is actively helping to improve mining conditions, by helping to start the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance. Tiffany uses its own cutting studios and polishing workshops, in order to know and control who works there as well as working conditions. They are holding themself responsible, not some third party. They aim to train and hire those from local mining communities. Tiffany’s website states that 94% of the polishers employed in their Botswana studios are hired from the local community. Tiffany is very open about their efforts, as they hope other jewelers will follow suit. They are diligently working to protect our natural landscapes, from Yellowstone National Park to Bristol Bay, both of which are constantly being threatened by mining. They have pledged to achieve a net-zero greenhouse gas emission by 2050. As part of this goal, they are fitting new and existing stores with LED lighting.
Unfortunately, these issues aren’t so important to everyone. It is hard to say if a Tiffany diamond is a good investment. Yes, Tiffany’s stones are of Excellent Cut and quality, allowing them to stand the test of time in that sense. Some people may like to see another certificate, when it comes to resale. Having just the Tiffany Certificate, as opposed to say a GIA Certificate, might decrease your resale value. Fortunately though, if you were to take your Tiffany stone to get certified by another laboratory, it will often get the same grading. The Tiffany name is likely to never tarnish, so having anything by the brand should allow it to hold its value over time.
Tiffany & Co. tries very hard to ensure that from the ground up, they are doing responsible work. They see that they have the platform and ability to highlight these issues as well as promote this growth with other companies.