For the Ten/Ten project, which officially launches in January, 10 independent female designers have put their stamp on the engagement ring using natural diamonds that were ethically and sustainably sourced from the De Beers Group’s mining operation in Botswana. Before the discovery of substantial diamond deposits in Botswana in the late 1960s, it was the third poorest country in Africa, but ever since those sparkling stones were uncovered, the nation has benefitted greatly.
For every $1 of diamond profit, more than 80% goes back to the government of Botswana and is used for the development of the country, according to Susanne Swankier, CFO of global sight-holder sales at the De Beers Group. And since nature will not create any new diamond deposits, sustainable businesses and thriving communities are being built to ensure that the country’s economy will thrive even after all the diamonds have been recovered.
One of the reasons designers agreed to join this project was because of this pipeline transparency. Not only do they know exactly where these diamonds were mined, cut, and polished, but they can be confident that they are contributing back to the very communities where they were found.
To that end, in early June of this year, the rough diamonds were extracted, and around mid June, rough diamond sorting was completed. Amongst other things, this determined the quality and size of the finished product and how many ovals and round brilliants could be cut from the rough material. These rough diamonds were uploaded to the Tracr blockchain platform. By the end of the month, the diamonds were in the manufacturing facility, where highly skilled craftsmen began cutting and polishing.
Around mid-July, the stones completed production and were ready for their export to the United Kingdom for inscription. The diamonds were inscribed with a unique serial number and the project code: Botswana 1010. Immediately following this, the diamonds left the U.K. and were sent to the 10 designers.
Early next year, we’ll be revealing the beautiful final products—and in mid-January, the 100 limited-edition diamond rings will be available to purchase exclusively on Blue Nile.