De Beers diamonds has launched a very special project all with the intention to benefit others. The widely known jeweler has partnered with five female jewelry designers to create the ReSet Collective Campaign, a line of pendants to showcase the beauty of natural diamonds from one of the world’s leaders in diamond sourcing: Botswana, Africa.
De Beers has partnered with the people of Botswana for over 50 years and source over 70 percent of their diamonds from the nation, according to Colby Shergalis, Senior Vice President of De Beers Group Brand. The diamond business plays an imperative role in the culture and society of Botswana. He tells Brides exclusively that it has transformed an impoverished country into a modern upper middle-income country.
“When De Beers Group started operating in Botswana, there were only three miles of tarred roads in a country that is larger than Spain,” Shergalis says. “Today there are nearly 4,000. In 1966, there were only three secondary schools in the entire country. Today, there are about 300, and every child up to the age of 13 receives free schooling. From only 40 tertiary graduates a year, there are now over 15,000. Records from 1960 show the presence of only one doctor for every 47,652 people. Today there is one doctor for every 3,000 people.”
So in order to educate and spread awareness surrounding the cruciality of diamond sourcing in Botswana, De Beers invited top industry designers last year to come learn about Botswana and the diamond sourcing that goes on there.
Many people are not aware of how diamond mining works and the positive impacts that it brings.
“We are in a unique position at De Beers in that we operate across the diamond pipeline, from exploration to retail, so we interact with much of the industry and witness first-hand the benefits that it creates,” says Shergalis. “But in general, even within the industry itself, many people are not aware of how diamond mining works and the positive impacts that it brings. Ultimately, we wanted to help the designers feel confident about where diamonds came from, make informed decisions about what gems they choose to use in their designs, and in turn be able to share this information with their customers.”
Jewelry designers JadeTrau, Jennie Kwon, Julez Bryant, Sara Weinstock, and Zoë Chicco were all in attendance on the trip, and were instantly inspired by Botswana’s story and saw the importance of the diamond industry in relation to Botswana’s society and economy. They decided to band together and team up with De Beers to create the ReSet Collective in order to show the world what they had learned during their time in Africa. All of the designs were inspired by things they saw during their trip.
“We formed a special bond while we were out in Botswana, and we wanted to commemorate the experience by collaborating on a project that would live on beyond the trip,” said Kwon in a statement. “While there, we came upon a leopard that was stretched on a branch. This one moment that really stuck with me became the basis for my pendant design.”
The collection will directly impact and spread awareness about Botswana, but that’s not where the good stops. The designers also came up with an idea to hold an auction through Sothebys starting next week (Dec. 10-17), where 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the NAACP LDF in the United States and Stepping Stones International in Botswana, which empowers the nation’s youth. The pieces are estimated to go for $20,000-$25,000, and sales will be equally split between the two charities.
De Beers and the five designers also chose the perfect model to represent the collection. International model Indira Scott channels her passion for the environment and sustainability in the stunning campaign shots.
“The Collective wanted to partner with a high-profile model, not only to showcase the beauty of the pendants but also to share the message of the importance of sustainability and responsible sourcing, which the pendants represent,” says Shergalis. “With Indira’s clear passion for inclusivity, protection of nature and education, alongside her incredible modeling credentials, the Collective has been thrilled to work with her to showcase the pendants and share the story so passionately.”
This collective of independent female designers has been so inspiring to me.
Scott echoed that sentiment saying that De Beers’ values were very aligned with her own.
“This collective of independent female designers has been so inspiring to me,” said Scott in a press release. “Each of their stunning designs tells its own unique story about the important positive impact that diamonds help create for the people and wildlife of Botswana.”