New Group to Promote Natural Diamonds


February 2, 2004

New Group to Promote Natural Diamonds

A new trade organization, the Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA), was created to promote natural color diamonds, as well as all natural diamonds. Members include rough diamond producers, diamond and jewelry manufacturers and retailers.

One reason behind the new organization was a successful consumer campaign in Japan featuring natural brown diamonds, launched by the retailer Kashikey, in collaboration with diamond supplier Rosy Blue. The positive response to the campaign, which portrayed brown diamonds as exciting new products, caused its creators to plan an extension of the promotion around the world. The new association will promote brown diamonds as well as other natural colors.

NCDIA's president is Richard Werdiger, president of Michael Werdiger Inc., a diamond house in New York City. Dilip Mehta, CEO of Rosy Blue, is vice president of NCDIA. Other members include miner Rio Tinto, Louis Glick & Co. in the U.S., Hans Krieger, a German high-end jewelry company, plus Kashikey, Kuwayama Corp. and Tasaki Shinju in Japan.

NCDIA's objective is to change consumer perception of natural color diamonds in the marketplace. The group wants to get the message out that these diamonds are attainable. "Natural color diamonds are ... real and they are authentic. You don't need to imagine them, you can own and cherish them," says Mehta.

In response to growing consumer awareness of HPHT-treated diamonds and synthetic diamonds, NCDIA will seek to draw public attention to the beauty and value of natural diamonds. At the Antwerp Diamond Conference in November 2003, Hidetaka Kato, CEO of Kashikey, mentioned the organization's scope for the first time: "The brown diamond project will collaborate in the NCDIA. Its objective is to promote the natural diamond and the natural color diamond. In the wake of the HPHT and synthetic, this is a great initiative."

NCDIA members are preparing promotional and educational programs. For more information about NCDIA, visit ncdia.com.

by Peggy Jo Donahue

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