The Natural Diamond Council has announced a new programme designed to help ten emerging jewellers from diverse backgrounds break into the industry. RRH Diamond Academy is the result of a partnership between British jeweller Roxanne Rajcoomar-Hadden and the Natural Diamond Council, which has created the mentoring and networking programme specifically for those under-represented in the diamond industry.

Successful applicants on the ten-day programme will learn how to build a brand, where to start with the design process, how to source ethical materials and manage manufacturing, as well as getting tips on launching the subsequent PR and marketing campaign.

Applications, which close on 9 August, will be judged by Roxanne Rajcoomar-Hadden; Melanie Grant, luxury editor at The Economist’s 1843 magazine; Rachel Garrahan, jewellery editor at British Vogue; Annabel Davidson, jewellery editor at Vanity Fair; and Raluca Anghel, head of external affairs and industry relations at Natural Diamond Council. The winning applicants will join a course at The Goldsmiths’ Centre in September and October, Covid-19 regulations permitting.

‘Starting a career in the fine jewellery industry was a challenging journey with many hurdles,’ says Rajcoomar-Hadden of her own experience. ‘With very little representation in the industry, I struggled to see where I fitted in. I strongly believe the fine jewellery category needs to look for more talent from diverse backgrounds to drive a new creative vision in the designs we are seeing. I am looking forward to sharing all I have learnt on my own journey.’

Adds Lisa Levinson, head of marketing and communications UK at Natural Diamond Council: ‘We recognise that it can be difficult to break into the diamond industry. Through this programme, we want to make sure that designers with talent and drive from all backgrounds can pursue their dreams without any obstacles. We are really looking forward to seeing the talent that comes through and hope to help launch the careers of the next superstar diamond jewellers.’ §