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Industry News: JSA, D.E.F. Name Honorees; Will Diamond Cryptocurrencies Change The Industry? January 17, 2018 (0 comments)

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JSA To Present Honors At Luncheon This Weekend

New York, NY—At its annual luncheon on Saturday, January 20, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance will honor three individuals for outstanding assistance to the safety and security of the jewelry industry.

JSA will present the 19th annual James B. White Award jointly to two FBI special agents, Daniel Gimenez of the FBI Dallas Division and Mario S. Aguilar of the FBI Houston Violent Crimes Task Force. Both special agents were the lead investigators that resulted in the charging of 18 suspects believed to be responsible for 19 robberies of traveling jewelry and diamond salespeople in four states, one of which resulted in the death of a traveling salesperson. The suspects are in custody, including four that were arrested on U.S. warrants in Colombia, South America, by local authorities.

Special Agent Aguilar also has assisted the industry by providing expertise as an invited speaker on security at AGS Guild meetings throughout the United States.

Kennedy said, “JSA honors these agents and their FBI superiors for carrying out an intense and successful investigation resulting in the arrest of violent gang members who carried out a reign of terror on traveling diamond and jewelry salespersons, resulting in millions of losses and the death of one.”

Also at the lunch, JSA will present its 13th Annual Industry Service Award to Yancy Weinrich, senior vice president of the JCK Shows. Weinrich, who previously served on the JSA board, has been of great assistance to JSA’s innovation and growth, says JSA president John Kennedy.

“During Yancy’s leadership JCK has been one of the most important supporters of JSA through grants from the JCK Industry Fund. Over the years those grants have allowed JSA to undertake innovative projects to improve the security of the jewelry industry.”

Among those programs are a rewards program for criminal information, an outreach to develop better cooperation with law enforcement agencies outside the United States, an initiative to improve mall security, and upgrades to both JSA’s media platforms and crime information sharing methods. Weinrich also last year launched a co-branded JSA/JCK Security Pavilion at the JCK Show in Las Vegas.

 

Diamond Empowerment Fund Announces 2018 ‘Diamonds Do Good’ Honorees

New York, NY—Rolex, De Beers’ CEO Bruce Cleaver, and Canada’s Northwest Territories will all be honored by the Diamond Empowerment Fund at its annual gala in Las Vegas in May. D.E.F. has announced these three are to be the recipients of its 2018 ‘Diamonds Do Good’ Awards, to be May 31 at the Four Seasons Ballroom in Las Vegas, NV.

Rolex will receive the Diamonds Do Good Global Corporate Spirit Award; Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group will receive the Diamonds Do Good Women’s Professional Advancement Award; and the government of Canada’s Northwest Territories will receive the Diamonds Do Good Responsible Government Award.

Government of the Northwest Territories: Diamonds Do Good Responsible Government Award. The Northwest Territories of Canada are home to multiple major diamond mines including the EKATI mine (owned by Dominion Diamonds), Diavik mine (a joint venture between Rio Tinto and Dominion), and Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine (a joint venture between De Beers Canada and Mountain Province Diamonds). Canada is the world’s third-largest diamond-producing nation, and the Northwest Territories has a robust mineral development strategy that protects the environment, enhances indigenous engagement and community capacity building, promotes sustainability, and leverages a local workforce, all while fostering attractive investment opportunities for the benefit of the local communities.

Rolex: Diamonds Do Good Global Corporate Spirit Award. Philanthropy and corporate social responsibility have been an integral part of Rolex’s corporate culture since its beginnings. The Rolex Awards for Enterprise support exceptional individuals with the passion and commitment to improve life on the planet. Rolex Laureates, as they are known, range in age from 24 to 74 and have carried out projects benefiting millions of people in more than 60 countries by implementing technological and scientific innovations, protecting endangered species and ecosystems, exploring new frontiers, reviving time-honored practices and protecting forgotten peoples, as well as providing safe, affordable water, energy, shelter, food, medicine, and health care in developing countries.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO De Beers Group of Companies: Diamonds Do Good Women’s Professional Advancement Award. Named CEO of De Beers Group in July of 2016, Bruce Cleaver has committed the entire organization to the advancement of women and girls. Under his leadership, De Beers has partnered with UN Women to achieve parity in the appointment of women and men into senior leadership roles across De Beers by 2020, invest in women micro-entrepreneurs and STEM students in its diamond producing countries, and ensure De Beers’ brands are a positive force for supporting gender equality through all its marketing campaigns. In recognition of this commitment, Mr. Cleaver was named by UN Women as a ‘HeForShe’ Thematic Champion. HeForShe is the UN’s global movement for acceleration of gender equality.

Bruce Cleaver, De Beers CEO

“The recipients of this years Diamonds Do Good Awards reflect the ongoing positive impact being fostered by the diamond industry around the world”, says D.E.F. president Anna Martin, also senior vice president of GIA. “Sharing these stories with our customers is not only good for business, it is a responsibility for the entire industry.”

For more information and to purchase tickets/sponsorships for the Diamonds Do Good Awards gala, visit diamondsdogoodawards.org

 

De Beers Banking On Blockchain Technology To Keep Diamonds Legitimate

Johannesburg, South Africa—The best way to guard against both undisclosed synthetics and conflict diamonds slipping into the supply chain is to track each diamond from its origin to point of sale. While the Kimberley Process was designed to stop the flow of a specific category of conflict diamonds, it did nothing to address the new threat of undisclosed synthetics.

But De Beers is hoping blockchain technology--the same that’s behind the bitcoin cryptocurrency—will be able to track diamonds from mine to market, and has launched a pilot program to test its potential.

This report on Bloomberg.com explains that blockchain technology will create a tamper-proof virtual ledger of diamond sales, where transactions are visible to all parties buying and selling the stone, although names and prices will remain private. For the traditionally secretive diamond industry, that is essential.

De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver told Bloomberg the benefits for the industry are potentially significant, and the report says blockchain also has the potential to transform other industries such as finance and retail. De Beers, meanwhile, is working on two potential stumbling blocks: one, getting the industry to cooperate, something that at least for now is needed for the system to work; and two, finding a way to address the fact that multiple stones can be cut from the same piece of rough.

Read more here and here.

 

New Diamond Based Cryptocurrencies to be Unveiled at IDWI 2018

Ramat Gan, Israel—During International Diamond Week in Israel from (February 5 – 7), the Israel Diamond Exchange will unveil new diamond-based cryptocurrencies created by startup CARATS.IO. CARATS.IO is creating two separate cryptocurrencies, each backed by diamonds purchased on the Israel Diamond Exchange.

One coin, called CUT (Carat Utility Token), will be used specifically in B2B transactions between eligible diamond traders. This currency will enable safe peer-to-peer transactions, altogether eliminating the need for financial intermediaries. The second currency, called CARAT, is meant for the wider market of financial institutions and digital currency investors. Both currencies will be backed by diamonds, with a market cap coverage of 25%, significantly reducing their speculative level of investment.

CARATS.IO founder and CEO Avishai Shoushan said, “We’re making a meaningful contribution to the diamond industry by simplifying transactions between diamantaires, eliminating financial intermediaries, and enabling diamond dealers to hedge themselves against price changes.” It also opens the diamond industry to a largely untapped market of financial institutions and cryptocurrency investors, he added.

IDE President Yoram Dvash said, “By cooperating with this innovative startup, we’re making diamonds a viable investment channel for a whole new market. This is important for the diamond sector in Israel and the world over. Israel’s high tech know-how is a huge resource for our industry and we’re proud to play a pivotal role in heralding the next era of diamond trading.” 

A seminar to explain both cryptocurrencies will be held during the IDWI event.

Separately, Shmuel Schnitzer has left his post as chairman of the Israel Diamond Institute, a non-profit, public interest company representing all institutions involved in the Israeli diamond industry. Boaz Moldawsky has been appointed acting chairman. A second-generation diamantaire, he is active in public service to the industry, serving as deputy president of the Israel Diamond Exchange, chairman of the Finance Committee and a member of the board of the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association. 

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