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Bulgari quits RJC board

Two more luxury brands have curtailed their involvement in the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) as the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine war continues.

Bulgari stepped down from the organization’s board last week, parent company LVMH said Monday in an email to Rapaport News. The Italian jeweler — which represents LVMH and its other brands at the RJC — will remain a member of the standards group.

“This decision is linked to several issues faced by [the RJC’s] current governance,” an LVMH spokesperson said. “That’s also the reason why we currently remain RJC members, as we think it’s important to stay to weigh on the stakes that need to be addressed to ensure the proper functioning of the RJC.”

UK-based Watches of Switzerland, one of the world’s largest retailers of Rolexes and Patek Philippes, has gone a step further, giving up its membership.

The RJC has seen a string of resignations in recent weeks in response to its decision not to remove Alrosa, in which the Russian government owns a 33% stake. The miner left the board in early March but remained an RJC member until announcing its exit last week.

“The Responsible Jewellery Council’s approach goes against the common values we expect from our industry in response to the situation, and we have therefore decided to withdraw our membership from the RJC,” Watches of Switzerland said last week.

Other recent developments include the resignation of RJC executive director Iris Van der Veken and the withdrawal of Danish jeweler Pandora from the organization.

Last month, Tiffany & Co., which, like Bulgari, is part of LVMH, decided to stop using Russian diamonds regardless of where they are cut and polished. The US sanctions do not ban imports of Russian goods manufactured in other countries. The decision was “taken simultaneously and in alignment with other LVMH brands,” the LVMH spokesperson noted. – (diamonds.net)

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