We told you almost a year ago that rough diamonds were fast becoming the new status symbol.Only a couple of niche brands, including Signum and Mazarea, were previously selling rough diamonds straight to the end client, then cutting and designing them into jewelry through their own channels. This vertically oriented process edges out the middlemen who have, for centuries, been part of the chain of command that takes a diamond from the earth to, say, the finger.
But this summer, Kwiat announced that it’s getting into the business of roughs with its new Mine to Shine program, which allows a customer to follow their diamond throughout its entire transformation and there are no limitations to size according CEO, Greg Kwiat told Robb Report. “There is a justified premium for a high-quality cut, but there is no premium on a Mine to Shine ring,” says Kwiat. “It costs the same as buying a finished Kwiat ring, and with both you are getting the highest quality diamonds, guaranteed origin and traceability, and a maximum size appearance.” He also said there is no limit to the amount of requests they can satisfy through the program.
It’s not only about customization, it’s also about transparency. Clients will know the mine from which the stone was unearthed, where it was cut and polished, as well as how it was crafted into a setting and mounted. The idea is that the diamond is never out of the company’s control: That means no intermediary cutters or polishers. One significant reason is that, as the New York Times reported last year, some diamonds from locations like Russia, are being cut and polished in India and therefore passed off as diamonds of Indian origin. With programs like Kwiat’s, a client can be assured that the stone has come from an above-board mine and never traded hands outside of the company before ending up in their possession. For larger carat diamonds (a.k.a. VIP-spend orders) even visiting the mine or watching the stone be cut is possible. Each diamond will be laser-engraved on the girdle with the Kwiat Tiara Logo for authentication (although it is not visible to the naked eye).
“Mine to Shine marries the exceptional quality of our diamonds with the transparency of the diamond’s journey from its origin to a finished ring,” says Kwiat, in a statement. “Customers want clarity and honesty about the origins of diamonds and their impact on the world. Natural diamonds sourced from reputable locales, such as Botswana, Canada, Namibia, and South Africa, have a tremendous positive impact on local communities and citizens.”
Beyond giving back to its local mining communities, Kwiat is also pledging an unspecified donation from each purchase to Charity Water, a non-profit providing families around the globe with clean drinking water.