May 9, 2021 – On May 7, the leadership of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), the World Diamond Council (WDC), CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, the Natural Diamond Council (NDC) and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) called one of the world’s leading fashion jewelry retailers, Pandora, to task for publishing a public statement with a false and misleading narrative, positioning laboratory grown diamonds (LGDs) as an ethical choice versus natural diamonds.
Annually, Pandora sells only 50,000 pieces set with small diamonds, out of annual sales of 8.5 pieces – counting for 0.6 percent only!
From a marketing point of view, Pandora’s strategic decision to adopt the much cheaper LGDs may be a sound marketing decision by itself, as diamonds make up such a small segment in their product catalogue.
However, the way and wording the company chose to motivate and announce its decision was outright reprehensible and irresponsible. This, therefore, is no small matter, and we hope Pandora will recant and apologize.
The text of our joint announcement is as follows:
“Leading jewellery industry organizations, including The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), the World Diamond Council (WDC), CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, the Natural Diamond Council (NDC) and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) have called on Pandora to market lab-grown diamonds (LGDs) responsibly and issue a public statement retracting the false and misleading narrative in their announcement on Tuesday, which positioned laboratory grown diamonds as an ethical choice versus natural diamonds.
The industry employs tens of millions of people around the world, and their families and communities depend on the income and welfare that the natural diamond industry provides. These communities need the support of the industry now more than ever, given the hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The misleading narrative created by the Pandora announcement implying the natural diamond industry is both less ethical and the impetus behind Pandora’s move to lab-grown diamonds, particularly given the inconsequential amount of diamonds Pandora features in its collections, can have unintended but substantial consequences on communities in developing nations. Industry organizations have called upon Pandora to support communities by correcting the record.
The group acknowledges Pandora’s decision to sell laboratory-grown diamonds as a positive expansion of the jewellery industry but warns that potentially false and misleading assertions can diminish consumer confidence across all categories and create confusion which is detrimental to the industry as a whole.”