Below is our recent interview with Sean Cohen, President at Rand Defined Diamonds:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Rand Defined Diamonds?
A: Born on the diamond fields of South Africa in 1947, Rand is a 3rd generation company that has been polishing and selling our diamonds to top-end retailers for since 1947. We control the entire process. That means we know the ethical source of the rough material, manage our own polishing production, and exclusively produce diamonds of triple excellent cut grade and definable quality, therefore definable value.
In addition, our polishing factories provide employment and good economic opportunities for previously disadvantaged women.
Q: What are Defined Diamonds?
A: They are ethical/prosperity diamonds, (from sourcing to production) fully-vetted and selected for consistent global demand.They are of definable quality and value-all triple excellent cut grade, sold at the polished trade price. In other words, they are the most ethical, most beautiful, most liquid diamonds you can buy, available directly from us to you for the polished trade price (essentially the wholesale price are tailernormally buys).
Q: What makes them a perfect gift?
A: Diamonds are about that special moment, those memories that last forever.Diamonds are also beautiful, and the right diamonds are also valuable and appreciate. Humans have understood this for eons. Everyone loves diamonds in theory, but some legitimate questions arise. We have taken all the unknowns out of the process, removed all the origin questions.In fact, our diamonds are not only totally conflict free, we go further ensuring they are prosperity diamonds in that the people involved from extraction through polishing all benefit. Because of our controlled process, we only provide diamonds with triple excellent cut grade, which yields the best sparkle possible.
The country of Botswana where our diamonds are mined and polished, is and has been a multiparty democracy since its independence in 1966. Our diamonds are polished in Botswana providing further economic opportunities,particularly for village women.
Everyone loves to receive a great gift. But there is pleasure in giving that special gift too. The gift to be imbued with special emotion, something remembered forever, something of beauty that can be enjoyed, or kept as an appreciating tangible asset, or both. There really is nothing else like it.
Q: You’ve recently debuted your one to three diamond disc specifically for investment and/or gifting; could you tell us something more?
A: People in the diamond business know diamonds always hold value and appreciate, provided you have the right diamonds at the right price. That has been a hard prospect for people who are not in the diamond business, where it can feel like a blind purchase.
If you buy your diamonds in a jewelry store or from a retailer, they have their overheads to cover as well as their marketing and jewelry manufacturing costs. But if you want to sell, that jewelry is worth its metal value plus the diamonds’ wholesale value.
We have been supplying the highest cut grade diamonds to high-end retailers for decades. They know to buy the right diamonds at the right price, it’s their business. We thought why not offer these same diamonds at the same polished trade price directly to the public?
We are housing those diamonds in our exclusive One-Three Rand Defined Diamonds Disk, which are beautiful showcase vaults, looking like a fine watch face where you can admire and enjoy the high-quality diamonds, or open it and put the diamonds into jewelry.
We’re are not competing with our retailer clients because we’re not directly selling pre-made jewelry. For those who buy Rand Defined Diamonds who want to put them in jewelry, we have a custom jewelry program available.
Our fully-vetted diamonds are selected for qualities that are always in constant global demand, meaning they are not only beautiful but also have great liquidity. We are selling these diamonds at the polished trade price. From an investment perspective,you are buying and taking physical posetion of an asset that is the most compact form of wealth known to humankind – and they’re globally tradable. It’s literally off-the-grid wealth you physically possess. Maybe you can’t take it with you when you go, but you can take unlimited wealth with you wherever you go.
Many people love having that peace of mind,off-the-grid,solid, tangible appreciating wealth. You’re also plugging into a near uninterrupted history of consistent incremental price appreciation.
What we discovered was that many of our discs were being bought as gifts. Everyone loves to receive something special, something of value and diamonds have the added component of beauty and emotional value. It literally is the forever gift.
Q: Why did you teach villagers how to polish diamonds in Botswana?
A: Botswana is a very interesting country, especially being in Africa. There has never been any revolution there or internal strife. It has been a multiparty democracy since its founding in 1966. 65% of GDP comes from diamonds and the bulk of the balance is from nature conservation and safaris. The diamond wealth in Botswana was always spent on the people, providing everything from medical to education. What was missing was the value addition.
Botswana was simply exporting their rough diamonds to be polished elsewhere. Like most countries, the citizens wanted more opportunity for advancement. We proposed to the Botswana government that we would polish diamonds in the country, providing a whole new layer of economic opportunity.
As we supply the better-quality cut diamonds, all our production had to be of triple excellent cut grade quality. This naturally requires a high degree of skill. While some questioned our ability to polish in Botswana, the fact is if one could teach someone to polish in India or Belgium, why not Botswana.
We started with establishing a diamond polishing school in our new factory. What we saw was that for each open position there were maybe 500 applications. That told us a lot about how motivated people in Botswana were for opportunity. Most of the applicants were women who were coming from villages. While village life in Botswana is not impoverished, they were certainly lacking in economic opportunity, especially for women.
It was all quite fortuitous, because women are highly motivated with good skill sets and great concentration – exactly what is needed to learn to polish diamonds to a triple excellent cut standard.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: We want to transform diamonds in terms of perception and use. Today 70% of diamond sales globally are for engagement, and with the westernization of China, that market is still growing. At the same time diamond production is flat and slowly declining because all the easy mines have been found, and there are no unknown mines coming on stream for decade or more.
However,diamonds are for many consumers a blind purchase, there is unease about sourcing, and unease about value. We are changing that. Our sourcing is limited to Botswana, not least because we know that the value of the diamond is going back to the people there. When you buy our diamonds, you’re essentially providing opportunity for people in Botswana to earn a decent living and live a life of dignity and growth. We want to expand that.
In terms of value, we have taken the guesswork and worry out of that too, uniquely we offer our resale promise.
Diamonds are simply something incredible, formed during the formation of the planet, brought near the surface by volcanos so ancient that no surface sign of them exits. They are then polished by artisans of incredible skill, each one is valuable in all sorts of ways, and unique as we are. They are a memory and occasion that lasts generations, literally forever, and they are the most solid tangible asset you can buy.
We want to spread the word, and in doing so, yes we hope to sell more and bring more happiness to everyone involved from the miner to the consumer. It is a virtuous circle, we think through our effort and success others will follow, this will transform and enhance the diamond experience for all involved, which can only be a positive.
We have an active call in line where you can speak with an actual person who works with diamonds. Many times, I answer the call personally!