The Diamond Industrys Quest To Reduce Its Carbon Footprint and Protect Biodiversity 
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The Diamond Industrys Quest To Reduce Its Carbon Footprint and Protect Biodiversity 

 

A few years ago, lab made diamonds made their mark on the diamond industry and shed light on different aspects of the naturally occuring diamond world. 

From blood diamonds, or diamonds mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, to environmental concerns around carbon footprint with mining diamonds and biodiversity, consumers quickly wanted information around the integrity of the naturally occurring diamond they were purchasing and rightfully so. 

So what is the natural diamond industry doing to be on the right side of history, especially with many online retailers positioning lab made diamonds as an “ethical choice,” versus natural diamonds? To start, diamond mining is generally less harmful to the environment than other types of mining. Additionally, the orebodies used in mining are vertical not horizontal, ultimately affecting less of the surrounding area. Many companies have established protected habitats adjacent to their operations, often times larger than the mining operation itself.

Over the last few years, the natural diamond industry has set out on its journey to decarbonize in line with global climate targets. As part of their carbon reduction strategies, NDC members are developing renewable energy projects, often in developing countries where it is harder to source energy, as well as engaging in carbon offsetting projects and investing in programs to sequester carbon. (Source)

As much as 99% of the waste from diamond recovery is rock and 84% of the water used in diamond recovery is recycled. The natural diamond industry abides by global environmental standards and stringent national laws. Before a single diamond is recovered, environmental permissions must be granted by governments with a legal obligation for ongoing monitoring, reporting and closure plans. 

There are many contributing factors to the difference in carbon emissions recorded by the industry. These include mainly the availability of clean energy at mine locations, the production or yield capacity of a mine and exactly which stages of mining are included in methodologies. 

Leaders like De Beers Group have set a goal of becoming carbon neutral across their operations by 2030 and are making progress. This process is broken down into three categories called scopes, each with a different level of goals. The first category titles Scope 1 & 2 includes improving operational efficiency, increasing the use of sustainable fuels, and switching to sustainable drive trains (the components of a motor vehicle that deliver power to the wheels), for vehicles and machinery. 

Electrification of mining processes as well as the adoption of hydrogen fuel cells and battery electric vehicles are promising developments for the diamond industry. 

Industry leaders have taken strategic steps to develop fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) haulage trucks, and the world’s first fully electric mine at Borden in Canada. Additionally, in Canada, industry leaders are designing a mine which incorporates low-carbon energy and uses only renewable sources and exploring the use of synthetic fuels and biofuels. Switching to more sustainable biofuels for trains has the potential to decrease carbon emissions by over 70% according to McKinsey.

For the emissions that the company cannot mitigate or replace with alternative energy sources, they are engaging in offsetting projects like the Wonderbag initiative, which reinvests carbon offset financing back into communities and is verified by numerous carbon standards and protocols.

As far as humanity is concerned, the isolated nature of prominent diamond mines means the workforce lives close by and develops a community spirit, which the diamond industry supports by investing in hospitals, schools, training and bursary programs.

For example, 33% of Botswana’s GDP comes from diamond mining, and an estimated five million people globally have access to health care thanks to diamond revenues, according to diamondfacts.org.

Today’s mining is not done by hand but is quite automated with miners moving millions of tons of rocks per year. Miners operating large earth loaders in open pits or underground would never even see a diamond. (Read more on this topic)

At La Bijouterie, we never work with conflict diamonds. We strictly work with ethically sourced GIA certified diamonds, and you will receive a GIA certificate and appraisal with your jewel. We want you to know that we’ve worked in the diamond wholesale business for generations and only work with trusted and ethical sources that take pride in where their diamonds are sourced. 

Although we love naturally occurring diamonds and pride ourselves on the sourcing of them, we also work a lot with Lab Made diamonds. We feel both play an important role in the diamond industry and do not see one as better than the other. We’re simply here to help educate you, and demystify the sales of naturally occurring diamonds, marketing aside. Consider us your partner in transparency so that you are able to make the best purchasing decision. 

If you’re not sure where to begin on your quest for a diamond or lab made diamond, come talk to us in our no pressure environment. You can book an appointment today or read our client reviews on Yelp.

We’re always at your service,

Set F.

Founder of La Bijouterie

 

Understanding the Role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Diamond Industry 

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Artificial intelligence leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind. It has come into our lives rapidly, and transformed the world in many positive ways making it easier for people to contact friends, send emails, and ride a ride-sharing app. But when it comes to AI and something as personal as engagement ring shopping, is there a place for automation?

To answer this, it’s important to first understand the longevity behind diamonds as well as the reason jewelry even exists today. You may be surprised to know that most diamonds are at least 990,000,000 years old, with many as old as 3.2 billion years, (Source). It has been discovered that the first jewelry making occurred 142,000 to 150,000 years ago by Archaeologists working in the Bizmoune Cave in southwest Morocco, with the sole intent of expressing identity, (Source). Understanding that jewelry making was born from the desire to express oneself via art and is linked to one's identity, greatly contradicts AIs automated approach to jewelry shopping.  

Blue Nile, a well known jewelry company that started entirely as an online retailer and disrupted the diamond industry, is now opening multiple brick and mortar retail stores due to the realization that buying something as personal as an engagement ring or heirloom piece requires communication, education and observing the item in person. They have foregone their online only model to meet consumers needs and accommodate those who feel never seeing their diamond in person before purchase is too risky. 

Diamonds have value in terms of cash money, and obviously a strictly graded diamond is more valuable than a poorly rated diamond. There is always a reason why one diamond is less expensive than another. More often than not, potential buyers believe the difference in price is due to retail margins, however the most common reason for price inequality is diamond inequality. This is not something AI bots take into account because there are so many variables to consider. Be sure you’re asking these important questions to any diamond retailer you work with.

The most important thing to consider when buying a diamond is both the diamond and the dealer, not just the diamond report. Diamond reports do not assign dollar amounts, they only describe diamond characteristics. This is where real life jewelers play a vital role in helping to determine the price and guide you around getting the best value for your budget, a talent that cannot be replicated by AI. 

Did you know that online diamond stores do not offer any quality guarantee? If something is in fact wrong with the diamond you purchased, (say an imperfection you weren’t expecting, or the color is off), it would result in you overpaying for a diamond you thought was a great deal. The truth is there is a lot to consider outside of the 4Cs that someone who isn’t in the diamond profession would have no way of knowing, say a robot. Read more about how online retailers cannot offer a quality guarantee.

As a retail business owner, we believe our mission is to add value to the consumer and help guide in the purchasing process in order to ensure the customer makes an educated decision at a fair price and leaves feeling proud of their purchase. Explaining why one diamond is half the price of another is important information to have in real time when considering diamonds. 

Twelve years ago, when La Bijouterie was formed, we made the purposeful decision to open a brick and mortar location, not an online store, because we value the importance of helping customers in person, especially when making the biggest and most emotionally charged decisions of their lives. It seems as though today’s consumers value the same.

While Blue Nile may use AI to help determine style suggestions based on purchase history and tracking, there’s a good amount of marketing that goes into what you’re being targeted without really understanding why or the unique footprint of the stone you’re considering. 

In the case of engagement ring shopping, AI takes the humanization, the identity of expression, and the personalization out of something as intimate as picking out a tangible symbol of your love for the person you wish to spend your life with. 

At La Bijouterie, we take a personalized 1:1 in-person appointment approach. We adopted this way of conducting business  over 6 years ago because it allows us to educate the potential buyer and it has proven to be most successful. Now more than ever, customers are seeing the value of dedicated and uninterrupted appointments. It’s a time to ask questions and express any concerns you may have.   

Interested in setting up a Phase I appointment? You can do so here. To learn more about the “Reasons To Think Twice Before Purchasing a Diamond Online,” click here. Want to learn about the 4 C’s of Diamond purchasing, click here. As always, reach out to us with any questions you may have. We love hearing from you! 

At Your Service,

Set F.

Founder of La Bijouterie

 

The Benefits of Private Labels in the Diamond Industry 

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When it comes to buying jewelry around the holidays, the number of retailers to consider may seem endless. From those claiming to have fair trade diamonds or lab made diamonds, to big name brands with striking store fronts, or that friend of a friend jeweler who will give you a great deal. Figuring out a jeweler to move forward with is no small feat. 

So where to begin? Starting from what’s most important to you and your partner will be key. Then, find a jeweler who compliments those areas – quality, customer service, etc. 

Recent studies have shown that the majority of Millennial and Gen-Z consumers enjoy on-trend jewelry, but don’t want to pay the name brand prices. Thanks to this wide growing population of customers, private labels are having quite the moment. 

In the jewelry world, private label jewelry manufacturers are companies that make jewelry on behalf of a partner business. Private labeling means the jeweler has complete control over product specs such as design, pricing, size, packaging and distribution. Put in simpler terms, private label jewelry translates to great products at a more reasonable price, with more room and budget left for innovation. Best of all, jewelers are able to make custom products for far less than big brands, ultimately passing those savings onto customers.

Still not convinced a private label jewelry store is the way to go? Then check our Top Four Reasons to consider it:

  1. Cost- Private labeling means jewelers have autonomy over the creation process and are able to cut out the middle man.With lower operating costs, this leaves your private label jeweler room to provide the price discounts directly to you. 

  2. Trust & Stability- Today’s consumers choose private label jewelry products for quality, consistency, and affordability. Even in economic downturns, private label goods enjoy steady sales thanks to lower price points which means you don’t have to worry about them going out of business and needing to find a new jeweler for future purchases. You can feel confident in the products you choose to buy from private label jewelers because jewelers must be  subject-matter experts and industry innovators in order to create products that meet customers’ needs. In order for a private jeweler to be successful, they would have had to have done the research and developed the best quality products. Read our article, The Diamond Industries Two Truths and a Lie

  3. Customization & Variety- Private label jewelry enables jewelers to customize their product line to fit the needs and wants of you, their valued customer. These small batch capabilities allow them to produce store-brand products that are unique to your design specifications, while also providing a wide variety of possibilities, a far cry from cookie cutter engagement ring settings.

  4. Quality & Consistency- Being able to offer a signature product line comes with exclusivity and the ability to design a one of a kind piece of art. Unlike other big name brands, smaller jewelers provide the best possible customer service in the industry. They can articulate where their diamonds come from, help educate you, and work with your unique budget. Smaller jewelry retailers are typically in it for the long haul and rely on you sharing your positive experience with others, as they are determined to earn your loyalty. 

So the next time you’re in the market for a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry, consider the many benefits of choosing a private label jewelry store like La Bijouterie. 

To book a stress free appointment and learn about our unique three step design process, click here

Merci!

Set

Founder, La Bijouterie

 

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