Forevermark shows that De Beers is a “new kind of leader” for the diamond industry, CEO Philippe Mellier told a packed presentation at the Four Seasons Hotel on May 29.
“Diamond brands are the future,” he said. “Forevermark is core to the De Beers group strategy. I want to guarantee to you that, in a few years, we will be the biggest diamond brand in the world.”
Forevermark CEO Stephen Lussier said the brand is unveiling a new campaign that will “focus on the diamond” and is built around challenging viewers to believe in the “power of a promise.
“We have been researching what the idea of promises meant to consumers today,” he said. “Consumers have told us that promises should be powerful, precious, and eternal. Those are very much diamond words.”
The new campaign, which will include a TV commercial, will debut in September.
Mellier said that while the company is no longer “the near-monopoly” it was in 2000, it is making investments that show it is committed to the diamond industry for the next four decades.
He noted that Debswana—De Beers’ joint venture with Botswana—will invest $3 billion in a new joint venture to extend the life of Botswana’s diamond mines.
“We are going to liberate diamond from the bottom of the pit with a value of $15 billion,” he said.
It is also investing more money in its Venetia mine in South Africa, which will extend its life beyond 2040, and its Gahcho Kué mine in Canada, which he called the largest new mine in the diamond business.
He noted that De Beers returns $3.9 billion to its shareholders in Africa, and gives out $39.3 million in community social investment.
He added that De Beers is committed to the sight system, and will still sell 90 percent of its diamonds through its clients. While it is getting rid of its lengthy client questionnaires, it is introducing new financial criteria for sightholders.
He called synthetics “a challenge” for the business, and the industry has to make sure that lab-grown diamonds do not enter the natural pipeline. He said the industry can detect any synthetics, and De Beers continues to invest in detection technology.
“We are probably the biggest producer of synthetics for industrial purposes, not for gem purposes,” he said. “We know how these are produced, and we will be able to produce them in the future.”