In 2015, CAP conseil, a sustainable development consultancy, put the idea for a fully ethical and traceable diamond jewellery project to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). Two years later, the first MY FAIR DIAMOND collection has become a reality. Its diamonds meet stringent ethical, transparency and external verification standards. They also promote the development and safeguarding of local traditional expertise.
Artisanal and positive, this approach goes much further than the ‘conflict-free’ certification upheld by the Kimberley Process, and the ‘ethical’ status of diamonds originating from industrial mines in developed countries. Each piece in the MY FAIR DIAMOND collection is the result of a new and exceptional collaboration between miners, craftsmen, jewellers and designers. Each of the parties involved, each expert, has personally committed to ensuring greater sustainability in the diamond and jewellery sector.
MY FAIR DIAMOND is an amazing story of cooperation between all these talented individuals, one that is based on honesty and creativity. Take a look for yourself…
The first diamonds come from artisanal mines in the Koidu region, in the east of Sierra Leone (Farandu, Boroma,…), which are among the first certified “ethical” according to the Maendeleo Standards of the NGO DDI, Diamond Development Initiative. This guarantees respect for human rights, decent work, health, safety and environmental protection. Sales of the diamonds directly benefit the miners, their families and their community. With the ‘conflict-free’ Kimberley certificate, the diamonds are
shipped from Sierra Leone in sealed packaging.
The Maendeleo diamonds arrive in Antwerp after being carefully selected by Nicole Despiegelaere, an internationally recognised expert in her field who has spent her entire career assessing rough diamonds for one of the world’s biggest mining companies.
The rough diamonds are handed over to Pieter Bombeke, a master diamond cutter in Antwerp with more than 40 years’ experience.
Pieter is also known as ‘the diamond artist’ who designs pure carbon into outstanding works of art. He personally cuts all the Maendeleo diamonds. He even travelled to Sierra Leone to meet with the miners. Once cut, each diamond over 0.10 carat is identified by the HRD Antwerp diamond lab and laser engraved with a unique number according to the MFD traceability system. Added proof of its traceability!
Next comes the creative part. Antwerp designer and goldsmith, Nedda El-Asmar, created several unique ring designs using the diamonds provided, with her business partner, Erik Indekeu, who conceived the drawings.
They work for big names and teach at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. Their motto, ‘A world of seemingly simple shapes’, perfectly describes their designs.
The pieces are produced entirely in Antwerp by reputed goldsmiths and setters who transform the drawings into 3D models cast in Fairmined-certified gold from Peru: Rayjo (3D casting), Tesouro (goldsmith), and Luc Ceulemans (creator of iconic works such as the diamond racket).
To respect the spirit of the project and avoid an environmentally damaging practice, the gold has not been rhodium plated. This gives the jewels a distinctive colour. The finished pieces are stamped with the MY FAIR DIAMOND hallmark.