The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has named Melanie Grant—a veteran jewelry journalist who most recently worked for The Economist—its new executive director.
Grant replaces John Hall, who has served as interim executive director since last April. Hall will remain in an advisory role for the group.
Grant has been a journalist for more than 20 years, with bylines in The Times, Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian, and the BBC. For the last 16 years, she has worked for The Economist. Since 2015, she has served as luxury editor of 1843 magazine, The Economist’s lifestyle publication. In 2020, she published a book, Coveted: Art and Innovation in High Jewellery.
In 2022, Grant won Jewelers of America’s Gem Award for Media Excellence.
She is also a board member of New York Jewelry Week, the Black in Jewelry Coalition, and the Copenhagen Commitment, an NGO dedicated to ethical transparency. She has also curated exhibits at Sotheby’s, TEFAF Maastricht, and the Serpentine Galleries.
In a statement, Grant called sustainability “the greatest single issue” facing the jewelry and watch trade.
“We are today with sustainability where we were with digital transformation 20 years ago,” she added. “Those who embraced it thrived, but also gained new and younger clients. Those who dismissed it in many ways got left behind.… I want to help everyone understand what they can do to be part of this movement.”
RJC chair David Bouffard said in the same statement that Grant “has a deep love and knowledge of jewelry and watches and a uniquely creative skill set that is both industry and consumer facing.”
Hall took over the group following the departure of executive director Iris Van der Veken, who resigned in protest over the membership of Alrosa, the state-owned Russian diamond mining company, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Alrosa has since stepped away from the group.
Van der Veken now heads the Watch & Jewelry Initiative, a sustainability organization cofounded by Cartier and Kering.
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