De Beers Has Big Plans for Forevermark

Plans to make Forevermark the world’s leading diamond brand were announced Thursday. These plans are being unveiled to a select audience of diamantaires and retailers from 30 April – May 2 at the London rooms of the Phillips de Pury auction house.

In a world where international brands are increasingly sought after and valued, diamonds stand apart as a great opportunity with the majority of diamonds sold still un-branded, according to a statement by De Beers.

“Following pilots in Asia, Forevermark represents a unique opportunity to lead this category with a highly aspirational and inspired offering,” the statement says.

De Beers says it plans to launch Forevermark in “carefully selected jewelers” in Hong Kong, China, and Macau during the fourth quarter of 2008 and first quarter in 2009; and in Taiwan, India, and South Africa during the second quarter of 2009.

“The Forevermark team has a clear vision,” said Gareth Penny, managing director of the De Beers group of companies. “Working in partnership with the world’s leading diamond jewelry retailers, Forevermark will be established as one of the world’s leading diamond brands, inspiring, exciting and re-assuring diamond consumers of all ages.”

Francois Delage, chief executive officer, De Beers Group Marketing, added, “Forevermark will represent the art of precious diamonds. Each Forevermark diamond is preciously selected and cared for at every step of its journey. Diamonds only from approved responsible sources are cut and polished by a select group of diamantaires to reveal exceptional brilliance. Finally they are inscribed with an icon and a unique identity number and graded. Forevermark will be found exclusively in only selected jewellers.”

Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of the De Beers group of companies, said, “consumers are becoming more knowledgeable, more demanding and more concerned about the well-being of the world at large. Forevermark will meet those concerns; it will give assurance and comfort.”

Forevermark’s offer will, for the first time, involve the launch of its own independent grading operations in Belgium and England using proprietary technology exclusively for Forevermark diamonds, De Beers said. Additional labs are planned for 2009 and 2010.

“Our grading will, as never before, combine consumer needs and technical requirements into the perfect expression of Forevermark’s quality, trust and integrity,” Delage said.

To extend the brand’s ambition and accessibility, diamonds from responsible sources beyond the Diamond Trading Company will now be eligible for Forevermark consideration.

Inscribed on the table facet of selected diamonds (which meet the Forevermark standards) are a symbol and identification number. Invisible to the naked eye, this inscription provides a promise to the Forevermark diamond owner, known only to them or those they choose to share it with. The actual size of the inscription found on Forevermark diamonds is only 1/20th of a micron deep (1/500th the thickness of a human hair) and can be seen with a special Forevermark viewer. Only diamonds which are 0.18 carats and above in size, SI2 clarity and above, J color and above, and good quality cuts and above meet Forevermark standards.