INTERVIEW – Free access to De Beers course to aid professionals during lockdown


Free access to an online De Beers beginners’ course will help trade professionals use their time productively during the coronavirus-driven lockdown, Jonathan Kendall, President of De Beers Group Institute of Diamonds, tells Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough.

Jonathan, De Beers Group Institute of Diamonds is providing free access to its online four-month beginners’ Diamond Foundation Course in response to COVID-19.


Can you please elaborate on why you are offering free access to this course now?

During this time of social distancing, we are all trying to find ways to adapt and stay productive. We appreciate that keeping staff who have been furloughed engaged and motivated during this period will be challenging for all business owners, including retail jewellers, manufacturers, suppliers and brands.

Our goal is to present business owners, membership bodies and associations with an educational option for their communities.

The four-month De Beers Group Diamond Foundation Course is completely flexible and easy to access, allowing participants to stay connected and improve their knowledge from the safety of their own homes. We know this time period is tough for us all, which is why we want to play our part.


What level of education about diamonds will the course offer? What are the main themes covered?

The Diamond Foundation Course focuses on the incredible characteristics and journey of a natural diamond, covering everything from the atomic structure of a diamond to how we at De Beers Group recover and sort rough diamonds.

Students will also complete modules on the Four Cs as well as synthetic diamonds, which is particularly helpful for those working in a sales environment. Overall, there are eight modules, broken down into sections of 15-30 minutes.

This makes learning manageable alongside other time commitments. The entire course is interactive and visually engaging to bring the natural diamond story to life. Access will be granted for four months to ensure students can revisit topics, each of which finishes with a short assessment.

It is our hope that participants will return to work with a greater understanding and appreciation of the entire diamond industry and the confidence to clearly communicate this to customers.


Who can take part and how can they apply? What about sole traders and other self-employed people in the UK jewellery trade?

Interested students should firstly contact their company head office to see if there is already a scheme in place to collate prospective students’ data.

As a second port of call, students who are members of a De Beers Group affiliated trade body, such as the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ), the Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) and Houlden Group, should contact their representatives to express interest in gaining their free course place.

Anyone who does not fall under these categories should email us directly on [email protected] and we will be happy to provide further advice.


Are you offering this opportunity to trade professionals overseas (outside the UK)? Do you have future plans in this regard?

The De Beers Group Diamond Foundation Course offer is open to all companies who are affiliated with De Beers Group or those who are members of industry trade bodies.

The course is available in several languages to help students enjoy the best possible experience.


Will those who pass the course receive a certificate?

This course is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited and students can download a PDF certificate from De Beers Group Institute of Diamonds upon successful completion.