De Beers, Tiffany Among Those Donating Millions to COVID-19 Relief

MajorsApr 13, 2020

De Beers, Tiffany Among Those Donating Millions to COVID-19 Relief

A few of the major players in the jewelry industry have given large sums of money. Here’s where the money is going.

New York—Relief during the COVID-19 crisis is coming in all forms.

In the jewelry industry, in addition to transitioning to the manufacture of masks, gloves and hand sanitizer, several of the big jewelry, gem and mining companies are donating large sums of money.

Here’s where their money is going.

De Beers Group
De Beers Group will contribute $2.5 million across Botswana and Namibia, two of the countries in which it mines diamonds, to aid the COVID-19 response.

The company said its contributions are part of a larger effort across its four producing countries, including Canada and South Africa, to support governments and communities with procuring medical supplies, logistical support, food security, water supply, COVID-19 awareness and education, and local clinical support.

De Beers also has created a community response plan in collaboration with community, traditional and faith leaders, and government agencies to better understand their needs and make sure the company provides the right support, both during the pandemic and during the economic recovery phase.

Additionally, Anglo American and De Beers will give donations of $2 million to South Africa’s Solidarity Fund, designed to help address the impacts of COVID-19, and $1 million to the Oppenheimer family’s South African Future Trust, established to support small and medium-sized businesses through the crisis.

“We have refocused our business in our host communities to support the response to the pandemic and our priorities are clear: prepare communities for the crisis, support the emergency response and be a partner in economic recovery,” De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver said.

Tiffany & Co.
The Tiffany & Co. Foundation has announced a $1 million commitment to causes related to the coronavirus pandemic. 
It has allocated $750,000 to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization and $250,000 to The New York Community Trust’s NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund.

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund prioritizes the greatest needs around the world to ensure all countries are prepared and supports global efforts to help countries prevent, detect and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Support will help send essential supplies to frontline health workers, enable countries to track and detect the disease, ensure access to the latest science-based information to prevent infection and care for those in need, and accelerate the development of vaccines, diagnostics and treatment.

The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, meanwhile, distributes grants and loans to New York-based nonprofits working to meet the needs hitting the city.

Additionally, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation has signed on to the “Philanthropy’s Commitment During COVID-19” pledge,  committing to nonprofit partners their support and flexibility so they are able to respond quickly and accurately. 

Tiffany is also doing a dollar-for-dollar match of employee donations to qualified nonprofit organizations supporting COVID-19 relief efforts.

“During this global health crisis, we must all be responsive to the urgent needs of our global communities. We are proud to support organizations providing immediate relief for communities impacted by COVID-19, including our hometown of New York,” said Anisa Kamadoli Costa, chair and president of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation.

Also benefiting the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is the Graff Foundation, which will donate $1 million as the WHO continues to lead and coordinate the global efforts to detect and respond to the pandemic.

This month, the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund bought and shipped personal protective equipment to 75 countries, supplied close to 1.8 million diagnostic kits to 126 countries, created and distributed technical and public health information to millions, and supported drug trials.

“The challenge presented by the pandemic has had a profound effect on all of us at Graff. As an international business, it has been terrible to witness the speed with which the virus has spread, and the pain and uncertainty it is causing throughout the world,” said Francois Graff, trustee of the Graff Foundation.

“The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is a vital tool in the global response to the virus. We are proud to contribute to its life-saving work and support the medical community and key workers who are heroically devoting their lives to caring for others during this global crisis.”

India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council is contributing the equivalent of $2.8 million to the PM-CARES Fund on behalf of the country’s gem and jewelry trade.

The government of India set up the fund to provide relief and financial assistance.

“I am hopeful that GJEPC’s contribution toward the PM-CARES Fund can make a difference to several initiatives undertaken by the government toward relief of COVID-19,” said Chairman Pramod Agrawal.

“The economic situation of our country and that of several industries has taken a severe beating. We have also called upon our members, trade associates, and gem and jewellery associations to come forward and donate generously to the PM-CARES Fund.”

Alrosa has spent nearly $4.2 million to purchase sanitizers, medical equipment, medicines and personal protective gear for healthcare institutions, corporate healthcare facilities, operating sites and subsidiaries in the Yakutia region of Russia and Moscow.

The diamond miner procured mobile labs to run express testing before sending samples to institutions in Yakutsk and Novosibirsk and provided local hospitals in Mirny, Lensk and Aikhal with financial aid to purchase antibiotics, antivirals and other medicines and materials.

It added it’s also in the process of choosing a supplier from which it will purchase lung ventilators and related equipment for the area.

Additionally, CEO Sergey Ivanov reduced his stake in the company from 0.0083 percent to 0.00415 percent. Proceeds from the sale—more than $250,600—will be used to pay for medicine, medical and personal protection equipment for Mirny.

The Kering Group will purchase and import from China 3 million surgical masks for the French health service and it made a financial donation to the Institut Pasteur to support its research on COVID-19.

The contributions follow on the luxury group’s donations to the four major foundation hospitals in Lombardy, Veneto, Tuscany and Lazio in Italy as well as to the Hubei Red Cross Foundation in China to help fight the spread of the virus.

David Yurman
The Yurman Family Foundation, Inc. has committed $1 million to COVID-19-related causes across America, starting with New York.

“Our hope is this will go in some way towards helping so many of our friends, neighbors, employees and customers who are going through this challenging time,” the Yurman family said in a statement.

Globally, Rolex is supporting the Red Cross, which the brand said it believes can have a significant impact in alleviating the suffering of the most exposed populations in this global crisis.

On a local level, Rolex is also supporting other organizations including City Harvest, Mount Sinai Hospital and the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include information about David Yurman and Rolex and to reflect that Alrosa’s spending has increased from the $2.2 million reported earlier to $4.2 million. 

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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