Socially responsible diamond program that involves jewelers

SA Gems, managing partner of The Private Collection of South African Diamond program, said Tuesday that it is collaborating with GlobalGiving to help raise funds for African community projects.

“With two of every three diamonds sold on the market today being of African origin, we believe that a vehicle to give back to African causes will find a receptive audience in our trade and amongst the diamond jewelry buying public,” says SA Gems president, Chris LaTrobe.

Participating jewelers will be offering consumers an added benefit, “A Socially Responsible Choice” with their Private Collection of South African Diamonds. A portion of the purchase price will be donated to specially selected high-impact community projects in Africa.

“Our jewelers want to be able to show consumers that they are doing their part to help make a difference. GlobalGiving really makes this all possible and so transparent. Consumers can go to to see exactly what they are supporting and can even monitor the progress of the projects”, LaTrobe said.

LaTrobe said the program will be the industry’s highest profile, joint fund raising effort focusing on Africa and the only program of its kind that allows the jeweler and their customers to make a significant difference in peoples’ lives.

GlobalGiving is a Washington, DC-based organization created by two ex- World Bank executives who use the Internet to connect donors directly with international development projects on a local community level. It says more than 90 percent of every donation reaching the project. GlobalGiving has partnered with several corporations, including The Gap, North Face, e-Bay, AOL, and Hewlett-Packard.

The SA Gems and GlobalGiving project will run in the stores in conjunction with the South African Diamonds Private Collection Kimberley Process Compliance program. The company claims to have Africa’s most transparent and open supply chain. Since 1991 it has hosted over 25 trade jeweler missions to the diamond mines, cutting factories and DTC sorting facilities in South Africa.

“We have had over 400 jewelers receive DTC briefings and tours of mines and our cutting facilities. This better equips our jewelers to deal with challenges like the upcoming ‘Blood Diamond’ movie. Our jewelers see the Kimberley Process it in action for themselves,” LaTrobe said.

* Jewelers involved with the program are:

* Amerigem — Urbandale, Iowa

* DeVries Jewelry Store — Grand Rapids, Mich.

* Exclusively Diamonds — Mankato, Minn.

* Forsythe Jewelers — Hilton Head Island, S.C.

* Goodman’s Jewelers — Madison, Wisc.

* Jackson Jewelers — Salem, Ore.

* Jewels that Dance — Asheville, N.C.

* John Atencio, Ltd — Denver, Colo.

* Legacy Diamonds & Design — St. George, Utah

* Nelson’s Jewelry — Crystal Lake, Ill.

* Nord Jewelers — Rapid City, S.D.

* Sander’s Jewelers — Pasadena, Md.

* Scheherazade Jewelers — Edina, Minn.

* Schiffman’s — Greensboro, N.C.

* Schneider’s Jewelers — Kingston, N.Y.

* Schwanke-Kasten Jewelers — Milwaukee, Wisc.

* Shreve & Co. — San Francisco, Calif.

* Stoverud’s Jewelers — Missoula, Mont.