Otomo Jewellers are opting out entirely from the diamond-selling business to avoid any involvement in ‘blood’ or conflict diamond selling.
The Edinburgh based boutique jewellers are leading a change in the jewellery industry by refraining from stocking or selling pure diamond jewellery. They will continue a variety of precious stone jewellery which is created ethically. They will also be continuing to supply diamond stone alternatives such as moissanite.
Commenting on the announcements, Otomo managing director Jonathan said, “Otomo have decided to remove themselves entirely from the very tarnished diamond industry. We no longer want to be involved in an industry that can at times involve or fund violence and bloodshed. Our customers are also not interested in giving gifts that potentially fund rebel groups or evade any type of regulation or are anything other than ethical diamonds. In today’s marketplace, we cannot guarantee that the diamonds we source are ethical.”
He went on to say, “It is extremely difficult to accurately track the origin of a diamond and there are many fraudsters in the diamond industry. Those who are the first level of purchase cannot always know who is who, let alone others further down the buying line. It’s for this reason that we have decided to take a stand and remove ourselves entirely from this part of the jewellery industry.”
“In some cases, these illegitimate funds are a source to buy weapons and ammunition to overthrow local governments. From day one we have been working hard to avoid all contact with such diamonds, but these days, that is not a guaranteed outcome. We are also aware of the price gauging, the monopolisation and resulting pressures that are put on young couples to choose artificially priced diamond engagement rings. We do not want to support this and want to lead the way in stopping it."
Over 20% of diamonds are thought to be from or processed in countries that have rogue regimes governing them. The funds are associated with funding war crimes or other crimes against humanity including those committed by government forces. Although there is a regulation in place to attempt to keep diamonds legal, there is not a way to entirely prevent the legal trading of blood diamonds in the precious stone market.
Otomo will continue to focus on providing precious stones and pearls to their jewellery customers.