Responsible Sourcing
Groundbreaking Progress
On Conflict-Free Gold

The sourcing of conflict-free gold from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been an ongoing challenge for Signet and others for many years. In recent years, Signet has joined with the Responsible Artisanal Gold Solutions Forum (RAGSF), a group of international companies, governments, industry organizations, civil society and local partners that support a responsible supply chain of gold sourced from artisanal gold mines in the region. Those efforts realized a significant milestone in 2018 when, for the first time, Signet sold gold earrings that were sourced through a pilot project supported by partners including USAID, US State Dept., OECD, LBMA, RJC, Apple, Google, Asahi Refining (SLC) and Richline. The pilot represented a number of firsts for the artisanal gold sector:

  • First supply chain designed to responsibly source artisanal gold from the DRC by US-listed companies since enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, demonstrating the ability to comply with reporting requirements while sourcing from the DRC and African Great Lakes region
  • First traced artisanal gold sourced from the DRC to be refined by a LBMA “Good Delivery” certified refinery, demonstrating the effectiveness of due diligence systems and that responsible, international companies can engage in the region
Of gold sourced by Signet is verified conflict-free
  • First responsible, artisanal gold conforming to international due diligence standards (OECD, LBMA) to be exported from DRC, demonstrating that companies can support economic development in the conflict-affected region while avoiding illicit trade
  • First mine site in Nyamurhale and first exporter to pilot the DRC’s “ITOA” traceability system, demonstrating commitment by multiple stakeholders to responsible artisanal gold

These achievements cap Signet’s ongoing leadership in the sourcing of conflict-free gold from conflict-afflicted areas. Signet has been one of only four companies to report and audit a conflict-free gold update to the SEC over the past five years. Today, over 99% of gold sourced by Signet is verified conflict-free.

Learn More

about artisanal gold mining in the DRC by watching Journey of Gold, a virtual reality film that explores Nyamurhale, where miners and cooperative leaders are working to produce legal, safe and conflict-free gold that is compliant with international standards and practices.

Partnering to explore blockchain potential

Blockchain technology holds the promise of increased transparency across the supply chains of many sectors, and the jewelry industry is no exception. To explore this potential, in 2018, Signet became the first retailer to join De Beers’ innovative new blockchain program, Tracr. The program aims to establish a unique and completely secure way to trace diamonds as they move from the mine to retail. By working together, we can assure a diamond's provenance, natural creation and traceability along the supply chain to provide the consumer a new baseline of trust in both the diamond itself and the industry at large.

Blockchain technology is essentially a digital record that keeps track of every transaction and exchange for a specific diamond. Because the record is visible to numerous individuals and must be confirmed by several managers with access to the blockchain, a change cannot be made to the record without notifying everyone else involved. This shared responsibility dramatically reduces risk of fraud in the supply chain and increases the credibility of claims regarding the sources of materials.

Signet is also working on another initiative with De Beers, as well as the Diamond Producers Association, to ensure the integrity of the natural diamond supply chain. With the aim of reassuring customers that a diamond sold as natural is truly of natural origin, Project ASSURE has developed a Standard for diamond detection technology in association with Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Devices are submitted to UL for testing under the ASSURE Standard. The published results allow the trade to make informed choices about diamond detection equipment.