It might not be the most pleasant of subjects, but this month’s magazine, which deals with crime is extremely important.
Along with the beauty and glamor of the diamond and jewelry business, there is a heightened element of danger that is not found in other industries. As pint-sized forms of extremely concentrated wealth, diamonds are especially tempting to those willing to risk it all to take them.
As a result of the temptation, we regularly report on daring heists and robberies on idexonline.com. To name just a few examples of the more outrageous operations that have been planned against the industry, how about the 2003 Antwerp Diamond Exchange break in that saw the contents of 123 safes being taken in a sting worth $100 million and which has become infamous for being the biggest diamond heist in history?
Or what about the daring three minute heist in which three robbers got away with £23 million ($43 million) of gems and jewelry from the exclusive Graff jewelers in up-market New Bond Street, London in 2004?
And who could forget the 2008 robbery of a Harry Winston store in Paris in which €85 million ($108 million) worth of goods was taken by four gunmen, three of whom carried out the dastardly act dressed as women?
While these big events grab headlines, crime on a much smaller scale goes on every day in the industry. Fortunately, violence against jewelers and diamantaires has declined substantially in the past few years, according to statistics provided by the Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA), the industry’s crime watchdog. Although police operations and increased inter-organization communication has played a large role in reducing the number of robberies that take place, much of the reduction in crime has to do, believe it or not, with insurance.
Yes, quite simply, the fact of having insurance, especially extended coverage, means that retailers or salespeople who would previously have put up a fight if they or their goods were targeted by thieves are simply letting their inventory go, safe in the knowledge that they are financially covered and that their lives are much more important than their possessions.
Unfortunately, violent crime against jewelers does still exist, and probably always will. But it is much lower than in years gone by and hopefully even greater police and industry vigilance will ensure that this figure is reduced even further across the world.
Jewelers, diamantaires and anyone involved in the industry must be vigilant in ensuring they do not open themselves up to the temptation of others. Read on to find out how insurance and security issues affect you. And remember, there’s nothing like the security of feeling secure.