As I write this post, sadly, Russia is still trying to invade Ukraine, killing and destroying as it does so. This made me think about the impact that war has on people and on economies. One way that this impact can be seen is on items such as the production and purchase of jewellery. As one example of how production may be affected, the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia are likely to affect the diamond trade. Alrosa, which is owned 33% by the Russian Federation and 33% by Sakha, the Russian Republic where it is based, and which produces 28% of the world’s supply of rough and polished diamonds, has been included in the US sanctions list, as has its CEO (Danziger). Surat in India, a major diamond cutting and polishing centre, has already been affected and a worldwide shortage of diamonds is likely (Chiu).
Another example is the purchase of expensive jewellery and watches by wealthy Russians as they seek to maintain the value of their money. Luxury brands, however, are beginning to close down operations in Russia so access to these items is limited.
Wars, too, have led to refugees escaping the shelling and the fighting, as we see in Ukraine as over one and a half million people try to cross into neighbouring countries for safety. Frequently, they are limited in what they can carry as they escape. Throughout history, women wore gold bracelets, earrings and chains as it was easy to carry their valuables with them. Not something we expect to have to do nowadays.
Next week, I thought I would look at some earlier wars, such as the Napoleonic War and the two World Wars, to see what impacts they had on jewellery and jewellery production.
Richard Chiu, 28 February 28, 2022, https://www.jewellermagazine.com/Article/10425/Economic-sanctions-on-Russia-seen-to-impact-diamond-trade