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GemFair Brings Ethically Sourced, Artisanally-Mined Diamonds To Market October 11, 2021 (0 comments)

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London, UK—GemFair, the De Beers program to help connect artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) to the global market through digital technology and assurance of ethical working standards, has sold its first dedicated parcels of ethically sourced, traceable ASM diamonds. The informal, artisanal and small-scale mining sector has historically been beset by poverty and lack of regulation. Programs like GemFair and the Diamond Development Initiative are working to bring this sector into the formal economy in ways that benefit the miners and their communities.

The GemFair stones were sold via De Beers Group Auctions in lots containing a variety of qualities and sizes of rough diamonds sourced from GemFair-registered ASM sites in Sierra Leone. Following good customer interest, all the gem-quality lots were sold, with the largest stone being 11 carats.

GemFair works with artisanal miners to raise standards and improve the livelihoods of the communities that depend on this important sector. Steve Allan, head of GemFair, said: “This is a very exciting milestone for GemFair and the artisanal miners who are part of our programme. Since starting operations in 2018, we’ve been focused on bringing beautiful, traceable, ethically sourced ASM diamonds to market and to demonstrate that buying diamonds from artisanal and small-scale miners in a responsible way is the right thing to do and has the potential to be transformative for the sector.” 

Since its pilot in Sierra Leone with 14 registered ASM sites, GemFair has expanded to nearly 200 sites participating today. While GemFair has been purchasing rough diamonds from its members since the program’s inception, bringing those diamonds to market required a considered approach, including the creation of the GemFair ASM Assurance Programme, the development of a digital traceability solution, the production profile of the goods, and the impact of the pandemic on volumes.  

“We’ve had a lot of interest from diamond buyers and jewellery designers in GemFair diamonds. We will continue to work at finding the best ways to bring the unique story of GemFair diamonds, and the role they have played in providing equal opportunity and enhanced working standards for artisanal miners, to a wider audience. Despite the challenges, we are inspired by the partnerships we have built with the artisanal miners and look forward to continuing to expand and deepen our impact,” Allan said.

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