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Antwerp Hidden Gems

Hidden Gem: Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director

Every Monday The Carat Soup shines a spotlight on Hidden Gems: extraordinary women in our industry. This week’s focus is on Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director at Responsible Jewellery Council (@RJC).

The RJC is an initiative in charge of setting standards for the jewellery supply chain, from mine to market. Which includes diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, gold and platinum group metals.

In their words, Iris is responsible for setting out the mission, vision and values of the RJC, working with its management and Executive Committee to develop and review the direction of the organisation, and establishing stakeholder and industry relationships to promote its objectives.


coloured diamonds Diamonds

Graff buys 20.7ct FIREBIRD Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond from ALROSA

What do you get when you mix the King of Diamonds with the King of twentieth-century Russian classical musical? FIREBIRD.

Image via ALROSA

Key stats, 4 Cs:
Cut: Asscher with excellent polish and symmetry; colour: fancy vivid yellow; clarity: VS1 carat:20.7 carats; price: undisclosed.

In December 2019, it was confirmed that Graff Diamonds – British diamond and fine jewellery behemoth – bought a daring and delightful coloured diamond from Alrosa – Russian diamond mining company. The latter are responsible for 20%+ of diamonds on the international market.

The Alrosa CEO, Sergey Ivanov said:

We are delighted to see that such a beautiful exceptional diamond has found an equally exceptional owner. Without a doubt, it could be a heart for a magnificent exclusive jewelry piece. It is more than just a regular deal for ALROSA. This is the first direct purchase of Graff made without intermediaries, and we hope that it will be the beginning of a new phase of our work. We pleased to see the trust of major industry players, which, among other things, was made possible thanks to our efforts in the field of business transparency, diamond provenance guarantees and our high contribution to society.”