Provenance at FTJCo

Introduction

FTJCo is working with its suppliers to institute chain of custody and OECD compliance for all of the materials we use.  To be clear, we are a long way off of this goal because it requires co-operation and transparency amongst upstream suppliers for materials such as diamonds, gold and gemstones.  And our requests for further information about sourcing and material handling protocols are often regarded as a nuisance.  We persist because we believe that these things matter.

At this time, the jewellery industry relies on systems of warranties in the form of written assurances and this covers many things from conflict-free status to origin.  FTJCo regards these as weak and is working within the industry to introduce more rigour to claims.  One of the problems we face is that industry's certification body, the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), currently allows for downstream supply chain actors to make provenance claims based upon written assurances.  To some extent, this allows the industry to adapt by moving companies along a trajectory towards a chain of custody norm.  However, the diamond producers have always had a granular level of traceability--they need these controls to calculate yields and profits--but they have been unwilling to share this information with the industry nor with consumers.  And this has been a topic of heated conversation within the industry.

Below is a list of our materials, what we can say about them and what those statements are based upon.  And at the bottom of this is a form where you can ask us about any of the information you see below.

Diamonds

CanadaMark Dominion Diamond Corporation
Claim: Diamonds are Canadian in Origin
Chain of Custody (CoC): Yes - but there is no audit of their CoC protocols that we are aware of.
CoC Transparency: None.  There is no way (that we are aware of) for a consumer to view the chain of custody for a given diamond.  While CanadaMark does provide a consumer portal to verify a CanadaMark's diamond's authenticity, it does not show any CoC data.
Cutting Facilities: There is no disclosure about which country, which company and under what conditions the diamond was cut.
Certifications:

Responsible Jewellery Council

KYC/AML Status: Requested August 24, 2018
Notes: The Responsible Jewellery Council has not implemented a CoC standard for diamonds.  However, Dominion could seek third-party verification and/or provide consumers with more transparency.
Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: August 23, 2018

 

Canadian Diamond Code of Conduct Non-Profit with Voluntary Membership
Claim: Diamonds are Canadian in Origin
Chain of Custody (CoC): Unclear.  Canadian diamonds are assigned a Diamond Identification Number (DIN) which is used to track a diamond, back through the supply chain.
CoC Transparency: None.  The Code of Conduct office does an investigation and produces a letter at the end.  You can see one we requested for a client here and there are no details about the specific mine of origin, where it sorted, cut and to whom it was sold after cutting.
Cutting Facilities: There is no disclosure about which country, which company and under what conditions the diamond was cut.
Certifications:

None

Notes:

We have learned that the Ekati Mine and the Diavik Mine, owned by Dominion Diamond and Rio Tinto respectively have withdrawn from the Canadian Diamond Code of Conduct.  It is unclear whether the mines will co-operate with the Code of Conduct office to verify Canadian provenance.  As of August 16, 2018 we await clarification from the Code of Conduct office.

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last Updated: August 16, 2018

 

Ontario Origin Diamonds De Beers & Crossworks Manufacturing
Claim: Diamonds are mined, cut and polished in Canada's province of Ontario.  Diamonds are accompanied by a Government of Ontario certificate guaranteeing origin.
Chain of Custody (CoC): Unclear.  Given the claims made by De Beers, Crossworks & the Government of Ontario, there should be a CoC system.
CoC Transparency: None
Cutting Facilities: Ontario origin / Victor mine diamonds which are accompanied by a government of Ontario certificate are cut and polished in Sudbury Ontario by Crossworks Manufacturing.
Certifications:

De Beers - Responsible Jewellery Council

Crossworks - Responsible Jewellery Council

KYC/AML Status:
Requested August 24, 2018
Notes:

Ontario origin diamonds are notably absent from both De Beers' and Crossworks' Responsible Jewellery Council audits.  As of August 16, we have reached out to Simon O'Brien of De Beers (simon.o'brien@debeersgroup.com) and Maria Mursell of the RJC (maria.mursell@responsiblejewellery.com) for clarification.

Maria Mursell e-mailed us on September 5th, 2018 to state that she had contacted both De Beers and Crossworks by both email and telephone and had not received any clarification from either company.  De Beers promised to send RJC an email on September 3rd, 2018 but no such email arrived.

Updated as new information becomes available. Last updated: September 6, 2018

 

Written Assurances Hoover & Strong, U.S.A.
Claim: Diamonds are Canadian in origin
Chain of Custody (CoC): None
CoC Transparency: None
Cutting Facilities There is no disclosure about which country, which company and under what conditions the diamond was cut.
Certifications:

None

KYC/AML Status:
Requested August 24, 2018
Notes:

FTJCo uses small (less than 0.15 carats) melee diamonds from this company.  But we are transitioning to source the majority of our small Canadian diamonds through the CanadaMark melee program.

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: August 16, 2018

 

Written Assurances Hoover & Strong, U.S.A.
Claim: Diamonds are Recycled
Chain of Custody (CoC): None
CoC Transparency: None
Cutting Facilities: Not applicable as diamonds are already cut when sourced.
Certifications:

None

KYC/AML Status: Received September 5, 2018
Notes:

FTJCo uses small (less than 0.15 carats) melee diamonds from this company. This company provides diamonds that are both pre and post-consumer recycled but there are no specifics for each diamond.

This is our default origin for small diamonds; unless diamonds are specifically listed as Canadian in origin, you can assume they are recycled.

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: September 5, 2018

 

Argyle Mine Pink Diamonds Rio Tinto
Claim: Diamonds are from the Argyle Mine in Australia
Chain of Custody (CoC): Yes (as stated in Rio Tinto's RJC Certification)
CoC Transparency: None
Cutting Facilities: There is no disclosure about which country, which company and under what conditions the diamond was cut.
Certifications:

Responsible Jewellery Council

KYC/AML Status: Requested August 24, 2018
Notes:

Some of FTJCo's Argyle mine Pink Diamonds are accompanied by certifications from the Argyle mine/Rio Tinto itself; for other, usually small, Argyle pink diamonds, we rely on written assurances from our suppliers, our pink diamonds originate from Rio Tinto Argyle Mine.

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: August 23, 2018

 

Certified Post-Consumer Recycled Diamonds Perpetuum Jewels
Claim:
Perpetuum sells third-party certified post-consumer recycled gemstones.
Chain of Custody (CoC):

There is no chain of custody data available for these items before they are in the hands of Perpetuum.  Old gemstones are often sourced from old jewellery and then bought and sold by different dealers.

Per the requirements set forth by the SCS Recycled Gemstone Standard V1, all diamonds, colored stones and parcels represented as post-consumer recycled are assigned a unique registration number which tracks through our inventory system and any intermediate step such as repolishing, lab grading, etc. Documentation of the post-consumer origin of each diamond or gemstones is archived and check against actual inventory during our yearly audits.

CoC Transparency: None.
Cutting Facilities: Not applicable.  Sometimes post-consumer diamonds are repaired so that they can be set but they are left in their original condition.  When this supplier does recut or repair gems or diamonds, the cutting is done in the U.S.A. and in Thailand.  The supplier notes that they have visited the cutting facilities in both locales.
Certifications: Scientific Certification Systems
KYC/AML Status: Received August 24, 2018
Notes:

 None

Updated as new information becomes available. Last updated: August 24, 2018

 

Written Assurances Fair Trade Jewellery Company
Claim: We source post-consumer diamonds and gems from old jewellery purchased by our company from dealers, consumers and auction houses.
Chain of Custody (CoC): We document the original piece from which the diamond was taken using photographs.  Unset diamonds and gems larger than 0.30 carats are then graded by an independent third party lab.  Smaller diamonds sourced in this manner are held segregated from our other small diamonds in our inventory.
CoC Transparency: We provide documentation for the purposes of audits.
Cutting Facilities: We occasionally repair or repolish recycled diamonds in Toronto.  We also sometimes recut diamonds entirely using Embee Diamonds in Saskatchewan.
Certifications:

None

Notes:

None

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: August 20, 2018

 

Written Assurances WD Lab Grown Diamonds
Claim: Diamonds are Grown in the U.S.A.
Chain of Custody (CoC): None
CoC Transparency: None
Cutting Facilities: There is no disclosure about which country, which company and under what conditions the diamond was cut.
Certifications:

None

KYC/AML Status:
Requested August 24, 2018
Notes:

On July 19, 2018 we requested via email that this company along with other members of the Lab-Grown Diamond Association to work with us to develop more transparency in the diamond supply chain in an effort to address the problems we know about and others that may exist.  Nobody responded to this call for action and we continue to advocate for more transparency in the Lab-Grown diamond supply chain.

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: August 20, 2018

 

Written Assurances Made by Man Diamonds
Claim: Diamonds are Grown in the U.S.A.
Chain of Custody (CoC): None
CoC Transparency: None
Cutting Facilities: There is no disclosure about which country, which company and under what conditions the diamond was cut.
Certifications:

None

KYC/AML Status: Requested August 24, 2018
Notes:

In the Fall of 2017, we visited a facility in New Jersey that contained a number of diamond growing machines as well as a number of laser-cutting machines used to pre-form the diamond.  So while we know that this company has the ability to grow diamonds in the U.S.A., there is no CoC system in place to verify this claim that we are aware of.

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: August 20, 2018

 

Written Assurances Various Lab Grown Diamond Suppliers
Claim: Diamonds are Lab Grown
Chain of Custody (CoC): None
CoC Transparency: None
Cutting Facilities: There is no disclosure about which country, which company and under what conditions the diamond was cut.
Certifications:

None

KYC/AML Status: Requested August 24, 2018
Notes:

On July 19, 2018 we requested via email that this company along with other members of the Lab-Grown Diamond Association to work with us to develop more transparency in the diamond supply chain in an effort to address the problems we know about and others that may exist.  Nobody responded to this call for action and we continue to advocate for more transparency in the Lab Grown diamond supply chain.

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: August 20, 2018

 

Metals 

 

Fairmined Gold & Silver Alliance for Responsible Mining
Claim: Gold is sourced from small-scale, artisanal miners.
Chain of Custody (CoC): Partial.  The Fairmined system is a closed trading network--in order to buy and sell these metals, you need to have a Fairmined ID.  To prevent leakage into a closed system on non-certified materials, supply chains have tight control over the chain of custody.  These controls are notably absent from the Fairmined system.  When we requested suppliers of Fairmined metals to produce audit documents stipulating to their internal controls to keep this material segregated, nobody had any such documentation.  
CoC Transparency: None.  Other than the closed trading system, the Fairmined standard allows for metals from different mines and different countries to be mixed.  There is no lot level traceability that would allow one to say that this metal is from a certain mine or country, from a given period of time.  This makes it impossible to associate impact data with the metals, except on the broadest programmatic level.
Countries of Origin: Mongolia, Columbia, Bolivia & Peru.
Certifications:

It is itself a standard. Contact ISEAL for governance over this standard.

Notes:

None.

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: August 16, 2018

 

 Fairtrade Gold & Silver Fairtrade Labelling Organization
Claim: Gold is sourced from small-scale, artisanal miners.
Chain of Custody (CoC): Partial.  The Fairtrade system is a closed trading network--in order to buy and sell these metals, you need to have a FLO ID.  To prevent leakage into a closed system on non-certified materials, supply chains have tight control over the chain of custody.  These controls are notably absent from the Fairtrade system for metals.  When we requested suppliers of Fairtrade metals to produce audit documents stipulating to their internal controls to keep this material segregated, nobody had any such documentation.  
CoC Transparency: None.  Other than the closed trading system, the Fairtrade standard allows for metals from different mines and different countries to be mixed.  There is no lot level traceability that would allow one to say that this metal is from a certain mine or country, from a given period of time.  This makes it impossible to associate impact data with the metals, except on the most broad programmatic level.
Countries of Origin: Uganda, Kenya, Peru.
Certifications:

It is itself a standard.  Contact ISEAL for governance over this standard.

Notes:

None.

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: August 16, 2018

 

 Just Gold IMPACT
Claim: Fully traceable gold sourced from small-scale, artisanal miners.
Chain of Custody (CoC): Complete from mine to the finished product.
CoC Transparency: Complete transparency with KYC documentation for all supply chain actors.  The only information that is redacted (solely for security reasons) is the identification of the individual miners, the exact geo-coordinates of the mines, the methods and frequency of transportation from the mine and the locations where the material is stored and processed.  All material is transferred in either or both government-sealed bags or in tamper-proof bags supplied by the exporter.  There is lot level traceability that would allow one to say that this metal is from a certain mine or region, from a given period of time.  This makes it possible to associate impact data with the metals on a more granular level.
Countries of Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo
Certifications:

As of August 2018, the program is being reviewed by Scientific Certification Systems as part of FTJCo's provenance claims which comprise part of it's Responsible Jewellery Council recertification.

KYC/AML Status: We have received KYC documents from the exporter, Fair Congo.
Notes:

None.

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: August 20, 2018

 

 Recycled Gold & Platinum Umicore, Hoover & Strong
Claim: We source recycled gold and platinum from certified recycled content and responsible-sourced suppliers.
Unclear.  Most standards rely on the refiner to monitor for potential leakage into their systems of newly mined material or material of dubious provenance.  However, no public reporting is done when these anomalies are found so it's difficult to ascertain how active (or effective) these monitoring systems are.
CoC Transparency: Gold is refined in large batches once they enter the refinery so CoC is lost once material from multiple sources is aggregated for refining.  This is why it's so important for companies to have monitoring systems in place.
Certifications:

Umicore

Hoover & Strong

KYC/AML Status:

Umicore - Requested August 24, 2018

Hoover & Strong - Received September 5, 2018

Notes:

Here is the SCS standard for recycled metals against which these companies where audited.

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: August 23, 2018

 

 

Gemstones

 

Written Assurances Americut Gems
Claim: Sapphires are Mined in Montana, U.S.A. are cut & polished in the U.S.A.
Chain of Custody (CoC): None
CoC Transparency: None
Cutting Facilities: Americut has a cutting facility in New Jersey where they say all of their gems are processed.
Certifications:

None

KYC/AML Status: Received September 5, 2018
Notes:

We are reassured by an academic study and confirmation by the GCAL lab in New York that Montana origin can be ascertained with some probability based upon the unique properties of these sapphires.

However, the claim that the resulting gems were cut in the U.S.A. can only be verified using a CoC system.

Americut and the mine that supplies them (Potentate Mining) has been offered our help to implement a digital CoC system but they have not followed through on the project.

At this time, FTJCo continues to work with Americut but is looking for other sources of Montana sapphires with proper CoC systems in place.

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: September 5, 2018

 

Documentation Fair Trade Jewellery Company, AKARA Sapphires & Rubies
Claim: Sapphires & Rubies are Mined in Madagascar, and cut & polished in both Madagascar and Mauritius.  The mine and cutting facilities share common owners.  This an LSM (large scale mining) project.
Chain of Custody (CoC):

Yes - but we need additional KYC documentation to be fully CoC compliant.

We have visited both the mine and the cutting facilities and have documented the entire process from mine to cut stone.

CoC Transparency:
We provide detailed documentation for the purposes of audits.
Cutting Facilities: The cutting facilities are located in Madagascar and Mauritius and we have visited these as part of our due diligence.
Certifications:

All individual AKARA sapphires over 0.25 carats are certified in New York by the Gem Certification & Assurance Lab in New York (GCAL).  GCAL certifies them for Madagascar origin based upon either CoC documentation, geology or both.

KYC/AML Status: Requested August 23, 2018
Notes: None.

 

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: August 20, 2018

 

Written Assurances Chatham Gems
Claim: Gems are Grown in France, Greece, Japan, Russia, and China
Chain of Custody (CoC): None
CoC Transparency: None
Cutting Facilities: There is no disclosure about which country, which company and under what conditions the gems are cut.
Certifications:

None

KYC/AML Status: Requested August 24, 2018
Notes:

None

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: August 23, 2018

 

Written Assurances Charles & Colvard
Claim: Gems are Lab Grown Moissanite
Chain of Custody (CoC): None
CoC Transparency: None
Cutting Facilities: There is no disclosure about which country, which company and under what conditions the gems are cut.
Certifications:

None

KYC/AML Status: Requested August 23, 2018
Notes:

None

Updated as new information becomes available.  Last updated: August 23, 2018

 

For all other gemstones, you should assume that we can make no other verifiable or documentable claims.  The gemstone industry is highly fragmented and we continue to seek out the best available sourcing.  Indeed, with our AKARA sapphires, we have created the world's only supply of traceable, certified sapphires and rubies.

For some gems, such as opals, we can be reasonably sure that the origin is Australia and that most of the cutting was done in Hong Kong.

For almost all of our gemstones we can provide, upon request, the country of export and the date of import into Canada.

This information has been reviewed as part of our 2018 Responsible Jewellery Council recertification.  All of the information above is presented as our understanding of the practices of each supplier listed and will be revised as needed.

Errors & Omissions Excepted.