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Europe has officially banned Russian diamonds

Here's what you need to know

Europe has officially banned Russian diamonds  Here's what you need to know

News heard in the fall of 2023 is confirmed this January: Europe is set to impose a ban on diamonds imported from Russia, challenging the power embroiled in a two-year war with Ukraine. Starting this week, the world's largest diamond producer, Alrosa, has been included in the EU sanctions list. The result of a restriction operation designed with the G7, the decision is supported by powers like France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Canada, Japan, and the United States. The decision, negotiated for two years, involves the disagreement of Belgium, a crucial trade hub for gemstones. From now on, the production and trade of diamonds outside Russia will change, emphasizing transparency and traceability of materials.

The project includes three restrictions to be formalized in 2024. The first, implemented in early January, blocks the import of non-industrially produced Russian diamonds in Europe and G7 countries; the second, starting from March, also prevents the arrival of Russian diamonds processed in third-world countries, while in September, a law will be implemented requiring all diamond-selling states to document their products - in Europe, even diamond-decorated watches - with certificates of origin. Any stone originating from Russia will be banned from sale in all participating countries, even if the diamond has been processed on another continent. Considering that diamond processing involves numerous steps, both for cutting and refining, traceability becomes a more complex issue than any other precious commodity. For now, we know that the plan is being developed, although how the origins of diamonds will be verified - and their respective certifications - is not clear. The World Diamond Council, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, the Gem and Jewellery Export Council of India, and The Gemological Institute of America are part of the plan, and an effective solution is expected by March.

With the new sanctions, attention increases for retailers and buyers of precious stones. Traceability, previously a topic delegated to the world of sustainability more than politics, becomes a burning issue, a piece that will radically change the luxury retail world in 2024. Tiffany, owned by LVMH, and Richemont have stated they stopped buying stones from Russia long ago, while Dimexon has implemented a tracking service for customers, connecting each diamond to its place of origin. The issue, experts highlight, may not only undermine diamond sales but also encourage the industry, soon deprived of a third of the world's supply of precious stones, to seek questionable solutions in case of depleted stocks.