World Diamond Council to Honour De Beers ChairApril 11, 2012
The World Diamond Council (WDC) will honour Nicky Oppenheimer, the chair of the De Beers Group, at its upcoming annual general meeting in Vincenza, Italy. Oppenheimer is being recognised for his contribution to the diamond industry’s effort to eradicate the trade in conflict diamonds.
According to Eli Izhakoff, the president of the WDC, “It is difficult to imagine where we [the WDC] would be today were it not for the role played by Nicky Oppenheimer and De Beers right from the very birth of our organisation.” Izhakoff stated that Oppenheimer and De Beers were “the first industry leaders who understood and appreciated the implications of the conflict diamond trade, and consequently sounded the rallying cry… He [Nicky] was a staunch advocate of the Kimberley Process from the beginning.”
Industry kudos must come as a welcome respite for De Beers, who are still involved in a very public appellate battle over the antitrust suit brought against them. The suit has alleged that De Beers, the world’s largest diamond supplier, conspired to monopolise the sale of rough diamonds. In December last year the U.S Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed an order by U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler under which De Beers would pay US$295 million to American jewellery makers, retailers and consumers who purchased diamonds and diamond jewellery after 1994.
On April 2nd of this year the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a further appeal in the case, however the Jeweller’s Vigilance Committee has said it is possible a second appeal may be presented to the court.
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