In the aftermath of a recent episode of BBC’s Dragons’ Den featuring lab-grown diamond brand Kimaï, major jewellery organisations have raised concerns about the portrayal of the diamond industry and the use of what they term “misleading terminology.”
The National Association of Jewellers (NAJ), the Natural Diamond Council (NDC), and the London Diamond Bourse (LDB) jointly wrote an open letter expressing apprehension about the potential impact of the episode, claiming that it projected “outdated narratives” about an industry that employs ten million people.
During the Dragons’ Den episode, the BBC voiceover described Kimaï’s mission as offering “Bling without the ethical or environmental baggage.” Founders, Warch and Neuhaus discussed controversies in the diamond industry, including unethical mining environments and significant negative environmental impacts. Dragon, Deborah Meaden expressed her historical hesitance to work with natural diamond brands, citing concerns about the ethics of the business.
The jewellery organisations are urging the BBC and Dragons’ Den to use balanced terminology to ensure fair coverage of the natural diamond industry. They emphasise the industry’s positive contributions to local communities, including benefits such as local purchasing, employment opportunities, social programs, and contributions to healthcare, education, and conservation.
The open letter outlines the potential harm that Kimaï’s terminology could cause to consumers. With a recent survey revealing that 40.2 percent of Brits were unaware of the existence of lab-grown diamonds, the NAJ, NDC, and LDB argue that failing to specify the difference between natural and lab-grown diamonds could impact consumer understanding.
The organisations stress the importance of accurate representation to avoid misinformation and highlight the positive aspects of the natural diamond industry, which they claim plays a crucial role in supporting local economies and implementing various social and environmental initiatives.
As the debate continues, it remains to be seen how the BBC and Dragons’ Den will respond to the concerns raised by these major players in the jewellery industry.
Find the open letter here.