A US jewellery industry trade body has issued an alert to members forewarning of incoming sanctions on the import of diamonds originating from Russia.
The US, EU, and the UK each issued new sanctions against a range of Russian products within the past week, marking one year since the invasion of Ukraine.
Despite much public discussion on the matter, once again, no measures were taken against the diamond industry – of which one-third of the world’s rough supply originates from Russia.
Now, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) has issued a statement encouraging members to plan for incoming prohibitions against Russian diamonds.
“The Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) has received information that restrictions are likely to specifically target polished diamonds, regardless of where they are cut and polished,” the statement reads.
“Any suppliers abroad who are still purchasing diamonds from Alrosa will likely need to begin segregating those goods to ensure they do not reach the US market and should be prepared to make customs declarations that their goods do not contain Russia-origin products.”
According to recent reports, Russian diamond sales in Europe increased following the invasion of Ukraine despite retaliatory economic pressure from western powers.
A statement issued by the EU following the installation of the most recent round of sanctions said that diamonds will remain a focus.
“Given the significant revenues that Russia extracts from the export of diamonds, we will work collectively on further measures on Russian diamonds, including rough and polished ones, working closely to engage key partners,” the statement reads.
“We reaffirm our commitment to strengthening the unprecedented and coordinated sanctions and other economic measures the G7 and partner countries have taken to date to further counter Russia’s capacity to wage its illegal aggression.”
The US and EU already have restrictions in place regarding Russian diamonds; however, rough diamonds which originate in Russia that are then polished abroad – for example in India – are permitted for import in what’s described as a ‘loophole’.
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