Ethics in the diamond world

Ethics is a priority for our company and we continually strive to review our ethical standards in order to provide our market with stones whose origin is guaranteed.

In the interests of transparency and uniformity of practice across the industry, Vernain is committed to promoting high standards of social, ethical and environmental responsibility.


Kimberley Process

The Kimberley Process is an international certification scheme for rough diamonds created in 2003 to combat the illicit trade in conflict diamonds.

The Kimberley Process requires exporters of rough diamonds to obtain a Kimberley Certificate to prove that the diamonds have been mined, exported and imported legitimately, without involvement in armed conflict. Governments, industry and civil society are working together to ensure that the Kimberley Process works effectively and to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the global market.

The Kimberley Process is an important initiative to improve human rights, peace and security in conflict areas where diamonds are mined. By ensuring the traceability and legitimacy of rough diamonds, the Kimberley Process helps prevent illegal mining, conflict financing and human rights abuses associated with the diamond industry.

The agreement is the result of discussions that began in May 2000 in Kimberley, South Africa.
The Kimberley Process was signed on 1 January 2003 by Canada, the United States, the European Union countries and now has 59 members representing 85 countries.

In 2003, Maison Vernain SA signed the Kimberley Treatyat the national level.


Code of ethics & control of synthetic diamonds

In order to be transparent with our customers, we and our suppliers check the natural diamond lots to exclude the presence of synthetic, HPHT or CVD diamonds. The control of the diamond lots is done with two types of automated machines; one of the AMS II by De Beers brand and the other of the Sherlock Holmes by Yehuda brand. We therefore guarantee the natural origin of the diamonds on all our invoices.

Concerning the ethics within Vernain, the company had already committed itself in 2006 to an ethical code within the Swiss Association of Precious Stone Dealers (ASNP/VSE). This was updated in 2020 to include transparency on the origin and treatment of gems, human and labour rights and ecological issues. The updated 2020 ethical charter can be viewed below.


Responsible Jewellery Council

The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2005 that strives to promote ethical, responsible and sustainable business practices in the jewellery and gemstone industry, from mine to retail shop.

RJC members must abide by a strict Code of Conduct that covers issues such as human rights, business ethics, health and safety, environmental protection and responsible supply chain. The RJC also assesses member companies to ensure that they meet these high standards.

The RJC plays an important role in promoting responsible practices in the jewellery and watch industry, working with companies to improve industry practices and providing consumers with a guarantee of the ethical responsibility of the products they buy.

In June 2021, Vernain joined the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) certification process.

Vernain is currently in the process of becoming RJC compliant in order to meet all the requirements for full three-year certification.

Please see below for our code of conduct and our annual due diligence report on our activities.

  • Code of Conduct
  • Annual report

The audit of compliance with the RJC code of conduct will take place in May 2023.