The diamond jewelry market worldwide is estimated to have reached about US$64 billion in 2020 and plays a major role in the global economy, yet many issues remain to be resolved for it to be an industry that deals fairly with all members of the supply chain from mine to end consumer, notably forced labor, child labor, conflict diamonds, and the destruction of ecosystems. Already in 2017, Diamonds for Peace embarked on a study of Japanese end consumers and retailers to gauge their awareness of these issues. This process was repeated in 2021 and the changes analyzed.
The study consisted of three surveys: an online survey to end consumers of around 1,000 people, a mail survey to diamond jewelry companies and a mystery shopping survey to stores of 33 brands in 2021 (16 in 2017) in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Questions asked were relative to awareness of ethical considerations, the traceability of the diamonds sold (notably what constitutes the Kimberley Process) and other responsible jewelry guarantees in the industry, such as Fairtrade.
Results show that approximately 60% of Japanese consumers are unaware that issues related to diamonds still persist, or indeed, in some cases, that they ever existed, and this is a decline from 2017. Also, there is a gap between intention to buy ethically and the actual purchasing decision based largely upon the beauty, design and size of the diamond, with less than 6% based on it being ethically mined, and less than 3% on its place of mined origin or where it was cut and polished. Although some companies have made efforts to improve the traceability of their diamonds, hardly any company is aware of the conditions in diamond mines and cutting/polishing factories.
Diamonds for Peace will use the study results to improve its educational activities and to make positive changes in the society. Further studies will be conducted to ensure continual improvement of activities offered.
The full details survey report is available here.[Note]
The consumer survey was funded by KAKENHI (No. 21H00632). We published its result in the magazine vol. 18 (2022) (p.8 – p.15) issued by the Japanese Society of Geo-pollution Science, Medical Geology and Urban Geology. We would like to show our appreciation to the stakeholders who made it possible. In this report, we present the results of the consumer survey by citing what was published in the magazine.