‘Ethical’ diamonds panel to take place in NYC

The Fashion Institute at Fordham Law School in National Jeweler, November 10, 2011

Media Source

New York--Three industry players will convene here tonight for a public panel discussion on conflict diamonds, a talk that is set to include mention of the Kimberley Process’ (KP) recent, controversial decision to lift the ban on exports of rough diamonds from Zimbabwe’s Marange region.
The panel, titled “Nice Ice: Ethical Alternatives to Conflict Diamonds,” is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Fashion Institute at Fordham Law School, located on 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues on Manhattan’s west side.

A news release announcing the panel states, “With the holiday season fast approaching, many women are hoping for a nice piece of ice, especially for that all-important left-hand ring finger. But who wants to look down at her hand and think of violence instead of romance?”

Panelists slated to attend are: Mercury Ring Corp.’s Phyllis Bergman, who also serves as president of the governing board of the non-profit Diamond Empowerment Fund; Jewelers Vigilance Committee President and CEO Cecilia Gardner and Ronnie VanderLinden of lab-grown diamond company Pintura.

Jeff Trexler, of Second Tree Ventures, will serve as moderator. Trexler is an attorney and expert on nonprofit organizations law, and teaches Fashion Ethics, Sustainability and Development at The Fashion Law Institute.

In addition to the recent KP decision on Zimbabwe, the panel will address the appointment of the United States as KP chair for 2012, De Beers’ launch of a synthetic diamond start-up in California’s Silicon Valley and the ongoing debates over the sustainability, grading and marketing of lab-grown diamonds.

Space for the event, which is free and open to the public, is limited and RSVPs are required. To attend, e-mail events@fashionlawinstitute.com.