White Pine sees growth prospects in diamond recycling
BIRMINGHAM, October 2012 – White Pine Diamonds, a global diamond recycling company which opened for business in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter in January 2012, has processed some 25,000 carats of recycled diamonds in the UK so far and sees strong prospects for growth in UK diamond recycling.
Tim Phillips, European Director of White Pine Diamonds, said, “We know for certain that many of those in the trade who recycle precious metals, whether they are specialist metal dealers, pawnbrokers or jewellers, are simply not interested in the diamond component of the jewellery brought into them for scrap and that a great many of the less valuable and smaller stones will simply be discarded; damaged as they are removed from the pieces being scrapped, or even shoved into a drawer and forgotten.“
He added, “We want those stones and we will pay a fair price for them.”
White Pine was established in New York in 2010. During two years in business, it has grown rapidly to become one of the biggest recycled diamond companies in the world with a global trading value last year of nearly 50 million dollars.
In addition to its offices in New York and Birmingham, White Pine has now opened a European office in Barcelona and a further office in Japan.
In the nine months since it opened its doors in Birmingham it has taken on five new staff including qualified diamond graders and an intern from the Birmingham School of Jewellery.
Diamond purchases for the company in the UK have exceeded 5 million dollars since it started trading two years ago.
However, British jewellery retailers and pawnbrokers still lag considerably behind their U.S. counterparts in embracing the recycling concept and White Pine believes there is still plenty of opportunity to grow the available market in Britain.
“We value every diamond and will buy even the lowest quality stones,” Phillips said.“Black, brown, chipped, whatever, we will purchase everything because providing you have an expert sorting and grading facility – as we do – even the poorest stones are capable of being re-cut and re-packaged for re-use within the industry.
“We generally only arrange specific visits to our customers for a minimum purchase weight of around 50 carats, which can be made up entirely of unmatched stones, but we arrange secure shipping to our office for smaller amounts.”
White Pine’s willingness to buy stones of all sizes, grades and conditions is unusual, and Phillips believes it is a real plus for potential customers.
“They don’t need to do anything themselves apart from gather together the stones they want to sell and make the call,” he said.
“One of our expert team, all of whom are certified gemmologists, will then visit them to review the stones, or will arrange shipping to our office, before sorting and grading them and finally paying a fair market price for what they find.
“We are looking to build long term relationships with our customers and are proud to be able to offer them the benefit of dealing with an established business with a huge upstream sales contact network which is constantly monitoring price movements and adjusting its prices accordingly.”
Apart from its role providing an extra source of revenue to those with diamonds to dispose of, White Pine is keen to stress the ethical element of recycling.
“The more recycled diamonds we can sell back into the industry, the less new diamonds will need to be mined and the less environmental impact there will be,” Phillips said.
However, recycled diamonds represent as yet a very small proportion of the world’s total diamond sales.
“We believe they currently account for less than 5 percent of all diamonds sold – which is great for us because it means there is plenty of room for growth and we look forward to working with more potential clients in the UK jewellery industry to grow that number to the benefit of us all,” Phillips said.
To discover more about the services offered by White Pine Diamonds UK, call 0121 639 0135, [email protected]