A message of ethics, education and hope from the Asscher family...
In an industry that has been scrutinized over the last few years, our family business, Royal Asscher, is renowned for its ethical record. Our family has vocally campaigned for an ethically operating diamond and gemstone industry. Edward Asscher was actively involved in establishing the World Diamond Council which developed the Kimberley Process and Certification Process.
Our family campaigned heavily with colleagues to convince the mining companies, governments and Non Governmental Organizations (NGO's) to accept and commence use of the Kimberley process – an initiative created to quickly recognise zones of conflict and unusual trading activity, and subsequently stop the flow of conflict diamonds. In previous conflict zones, rebels took over mines, enslaved populations, and smuggled and traded diamonds across borders for weapons. With no legal regulations specifying how diamonds could be traded , some of those diamonds ended up in the supply chain, hence the term conflict diamonds. With the advent of the Kimberley Process, and it's established collaborative efforts, the diamond industry has permanently , positively changed . Our family, continues to support the monitoring, strengthening and enforcement of the guidelines the Kimberley Process sets out.
It is of paramount importance to us that diamonds bring happiness and wellbeing to all, that they are used for development purposes . We believe that NGO's, the diamond industry at large, and international governments should work in partnership to strive for a world that is 100% free of conflict diamonds.
In 2008 Royal Asscher launched Star of Africa a philanthropic initiative which aims to improve infrastructure in Africa by creating funding for healthcare, education and self sufficiency programs. Already the Star of Africa project has helped children who are working in the mines to end their labour and begin attending school or vocational training; often diamond mines are the only choice between starvation and survival, but children deserve to be nurtured, the Star of Africa project has ensured that the sponsored children eat well, attend school, and receive healthcare. More charity partners will be announced as the initiative grows. It is our intention to make significant , tangible and positive differences to the lives of people in Sierra Leone.
The project is named after the largest diamond ever found the 3105 carat Star of Africa (Cullinan) diamond, cut by our family in 1908. However, this Star of Africa initiative aims to highlight the fact that the true Star of Africa, it's most precious resource, is her people. It is the Asscher's firm belief that with support, attention and investment that society can be rebuilt. Lita Asscher visited Sierra Leone and saw first hand that these innocent, beautiful children have hope for their own future despite living in a country that the United Nations recognises as the ‘worst place in the world to live'. It is our sincere hope that the phenomenally beautiful Stars of Africa collection, has a tangible impact where it is most needed… for the inspirational people of Sierra Leone.