WFDB criticizes De Beers and ‘Supplier of Choice’

The leaders of the world’s diamond bourses expressed reservations about De Beers’ “Supplier of Choice” policy following their recent meeting in South Africa.

A resolution issued by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) expressed concern that Supplier of Choice was concentrating the market in fewer hands, seriously threatening the trade’s established structure. It said this is likely to have a major adverse effect on the future of the entire wholesale diamond trade and industry.

Earlier in the day the meeting was addressed by Gareth Penny, director of sales and marketing for the DTC, who explained in detail how DTC selected its clients. Responding to the WFDB’s concerns, he said the number of rough diamonds sold through De Beers’ Diamdel rough dealerships to non-sightholders will be increased to $500 million per year.

The meeting also tackled the issue of high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) treated diamonds on the market, forming a committee to work with the major gemological labs and discuss ways to detect HPHT. De Beers said that in September it will be making available to the gemological laboratories an instrument that will help in identifying HPHT-treated diamonds

The next World Diamond Congress will be held in the spring of 2004, in New York.