Ethics and traceability in jewelry, where do we stand ? (Interview with the new Executive Director of the Responsible Jewellery Council)

Melanie Grant, the new Executive Director of the Responsible Jewellery Council, talks to LUXUS+ in an exclusive interview.


The mission of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) is to promote responsible ethical, social and environmental practices throughout the jewelry supply chain from mine to jeweller’s window. RJC-certified companies are committed to these practices and to transparency in their operations. The materials covered are gold, platinum and diamonds, but the RJC is constantly expanding its scope, which will eventually include silver and colored stones.


LuxusPlus:  What has led you to become the new RJC executive director?


Melanie Grant: I’m completely different from the ED’s who have done before as a writer, curator and as a black woman so I think I represent a new era creatively and in terms of the industry.  I feel I’ve been lucky to have had a multi-hyphenate career – working as a stylist, art director and as a writer. At one point I owned and ran my own creative agency before freelancing at The Economist where I went for a day and ended up staying for 16 years overseeing watch and jewellery content. I loved creating beauty with meaning there and learning from such an array of intellectually rigorous journalists. I started writing about ten years ago at The Economist where a coterie of strong women took me under their collective wing and when my book Coveted: Art & Innovation in High Jewellery* came out in 2020 (ndlr Editions PHAIDON), I began curating which happened naturally. This summer I’ve curated the contemporary jewellery section of the exhibition ‘Crown to Couture’ at Kensington Palace which examines the parallels between the Georgian Court and modern-day red carpet.  The RJC for me is another type of expansion because it involves approaching jewellery in new and interesting ways and I live to learn.


LP: You are currently revising the CoC (Chain of Custody). Can you tell us more? What are the objectives?


M.G: We strive for continual progression at the RJC in line with the evolution of the market and in society so everything we offer continues to move forward.  The objective is always to offer the highest level of standards across the entire supply chain.  As a demonstration of that we are launching our ESG toolkit on 23rd of June at our inaugural responsible jewellery summit in conjunction with Harvard and the GIA.


LP: In 2019, the RJC announced it would extend its services to the precious coloured stones, and in a next step, to the semi-precious. So where do we stand today in the implementation of the project?


M.G: It’s ongoing.  The RJC is continuing the research it started in 2019 but which was unfortunately put on hold due to covid into the to audit of coloured gemstones.  We have no launch dates to share at present.


LP: How do you collaborate with Watch and Jewellery Initiative? I mean how are you complementary and not competitors since it seems we have some duplications here?




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Featured photo : © Presse


Isabelle Hossenlopp
Isabelle Hossenlopp
Isabelle Hossenlopp is a journalist specialized in jewelry. A graduate of Sciences Po Paris, she has over 30 years of experience in the luxury industry, including 11 years at Chanel. She is also a consultant in editorial content and storytelling and teaches in luxury MBAs in management and communication schools.

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