NCDIA Draws Attention In Basel

The Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA), a new trade organization launched earlier this year to promote natural colored diamonds, held a press conference during the BaselWorld fair to raise awareness of its members and goals. (See “Diamond Notes,” JCK April 2004, p. 42.)

NCDIA draws members from around the world, from rough diamond producers to diamond and jewelry manufacturers and retailers. Dilip Mehta, CEO and president of Rosy Blue and vice president of NCDIA, told JCK the group’s key objective is to educate consumers about colored diamonds and change their perception of them as prohibitively expensive and out of reach. While natural color diamonds are indeed exotic and dream-like products, he said, they also are real and authentic, and it is possible for consumers to own and appreciate them. In addition, in response to the growing HPHT and synthetic diamond supply, NCDIA seeks to emphasize the beauty and value of natural diamonds.

NCDIA members have been working on a variety of promotional and educational programs, the most notable of which were three diamond-studded dresses designed by Randi Rahm and unveiled to the public during Oscar week in Los Angeles. The dresses, which used champagne, pink, and chocolate diamonds, were valued at close to $6 million. The champagne diamond dress, which was on display in Basel, featured more than 2,000 stones totaling more than 3,000 carats of natural color diamonds from Michael Werdiger Inc. Worth $2.5 million, it was worn to the Oscars by E! reporter and Entertainment Tonight host Maria Menounos. The dress also was modeled during the Supplier Fashion Show luncheon held April 1 at the American Gem Society Conclave in Atlanta.

The other two diamond dresses included a pink diamond dress, valued at $1.5 million and featuring 500 carats of rare natural color pink diamonds from Argyle, worn by actress Vivica A. Fox (Kill Bill, Independence Day); and a chocolate diamond dress, featuring more than 500 carats of chocolate, wheat, and white natural color diamonds from Rosy Blue and Michael Werdiger. The dress was featured during the pre-Oscars coverage on Good Morning America. Additionally, NCDIA members’ stones were worn by a dozen other celebrities during the Oscar festivities.

For more information about NCDIA or to obtain a membership application, contact Sandra Arsianian in Antwerp, (32 3) 206 16 84, e-mail: sandra.arsianian@rosyblue.be, or Jennifer Merksamer in New York, (212) 869-5160, e-mail: jen@sjmworldwide.com.