Principles over Profits; How Thollot & Co. Stands for Ukraine by refusing to purchase Russian Diamonds

Since the discovery of diamonds in Russia in 1954, Russia has become a major exporter of diamonds and is currently responsible for up to 40% of diamond distribution to the world.

There are only three major diamond miners in the world: Alrosa, DeBeers, and Rio Tinto. Since 2009, Alrosa has been responsible for 95% of Russian diamond mining and is the only mining company currently operating in Russia. Since the invasion of Ukraine on February 24th of 2022, sanctions have been placed on the diamonds coming from Alrosa mines in Russia.

As a jewelry retailer and contributor to the demand on the world’s precious gem supply, Thollot & Co. has always insisted on thoroughly tracing the supply chain of our diamonds. Since our founding, we have always chosen our vendors carefully, navigating away from site holders who purchase from Alrosa and choosing instead to support companies who purchase from DeBeers or Rio Tinto. This allows us to enforce our policy of purchasing diamonds only from countries which do not violate human rights. On February 24th, Thollot & Co. surveyed all of our diamond suppliers to ensure that they do not sell any diamonds from Alrosa; we were proud to receive confirmations of this from each of our suppliers in turn. We also required our suppliers to sign a legal document assuring us that no diamonds sent to our store would come from Russian mines. 

Thollot has also chosen to purchase our diamonds from the DeBeers mining company and the DeBeers Forevermark Diamond Brand. DeBeers was the first mining company to react to the diamond conflict crisis of the 1980s and 1990s by choosing to invest a large amount of its profits back into countries where DeBeers mines are located. By partnering with Forevermark and DeBeers, Thollot & Co. can verify beyond doubt that the diamonds we stock support the positive living and working conditions of individuals living around diamond mines.

We stand with companies who stand for human rights. We stand with Ukraine. We stand for artisinal miners’ ability to support their families while having fair wages, hours, and working conditions. Conflict is not a 3rd world problem; it is a human problem, and we all play a part in guarding human freedoms around the world.

By offering lab created diamonds and ethically sourced natural diamonds, we add our voice to the voices of those protecting freedoms wherever they are threatened.

UPDATE 3.11..22  The United States officially Sanctioned the purchase of rough diamonds from Russia by making it impossible for any US based jewelry company to purchase Alrosa rough diamonds. Russian diamonds can still be sold as rough crystal to companies in countries that have not sanctioned Russian diamonds. Once they are cut there, the diamond is no longer "sanctioned" by the US and could be purchased from that second country as cut diamonds. The sanctions are stronger, but still not strong enough to make sure that Russian diamonds cannot make their way to the USA. Because of this, our legal document requiring assurance from our suppliers that the diamonds they sell us were not mined in Russia gives us the confidence we need to know we are doing everything to can to ensure our purchases do not in any way profit Russia. We hope that the US will tighten this loop hole and we will update this blog when and if that change is made.