Out of Africa
The Cleanest and Brightest Diamonds in Existence
Nearly 14,000 miles from Chicago, on the coast of Southwest Africa, rests a shoreline filled with wonders. On one side of the sand are the brave people of Namibia, a nation only thirty years old; On the other side is the means to their dreams.
Millions of years before the children of this region desired to become doctors, litigators, and tech pioneers, the earth was preparing a road to their achievements. Immense pressure and the intense fires of the planet's crust created walls of rough diamonds. As if knowing their destination, these blazing miracles found their way up volcanic pipes to the rushing waters of the Orange River. Finally, they spilled from the river onto the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, peppering the dark seabed with earth's most radiant treasures. Gathering these diamonds from the seafloor, some 20 miles from shore and 450 feet below sea level, is called offshore industrial alluvial (literally, "sandy") diamond mining. Industrial alluvial diamond mining is characterized by strict regulations and government investment. This environmentally conscious technique for acquiring diamonds ensures that the ocean and landscape return to their original state when mining is complete. Namibia's government has formed a joint venture relationship with the world's largest mining company to guarantee its citizens participate in recovering and marketing these natural diamonds. They developed this covenant for the future of their people and the dreams of their children. From this unique location, we find Razny Bespoke diamonds, some of the cleanest and brightest in existence — not to mention dazzling variations in pinks, blues, and yellows.
From Left to Right:
1. The Benguela Gem is about two city blocks long with a complement of over 100 members
2. Diamonds are sorted from gravel with 99% of material returned to the seafloor
3. Ingrid and Stan Razny aboard the Benguela Gem
As natural diamond ambassadors, our family felt it necessary to visit Namibia and South Africa, speak with its peoples, and learn first-hand how our industry affects their lives. We partnered with our direct diamond supplier to provide practical aid, including dialysis machines for clinics, funds for scholarships, and sanitary napkins so that young girls can go to school. As one child stated to us, many parents simply cannot afford the "luxury" of female hygiene products. Without these necessities, their girls cannot attend the classes they need to learn, and how will they achieve their ambitions without that instruction?
This visit reminded us that the children are the true diamonds of these nations, and it is in them we must invest. In the Soweto township in South Africa, the unemployment rate is 70% among certain age groups. Local mentors are stepping in to bridge the gap from poverty to education, ensuring youngsters are not lost to hopelessness. At the Kliptown Youth Program (KYP), for example, students from kindergarten through high school receive what may be the only hot meal of their day. Counselors give them guidance toward higher education. All proceeds received by this center go to the children of KYP, who greeted our family with beautiful smiles and open arms as soon as we entered. We left feeling incredibly moved and more determined than ever to support this shining oasis of hope.
Razny Jewlers is proud to support programs like KYP to provide much-needed practical aid to the children of South Africa and Namibia.
Before departing South Africa, we were honored to visit the Nelson Mandela Foundation and its archives. Pensively we entered the tiny cell Mandela occupied while incarcerated for over 27 years as a political prisoner. We stood in his office and had dinner at the home he shared with his wife while president. His work and the prolific nature of his efforts were on our minds as we resumed our journey.
Continuing to Namibia, we were overjoyed to visit a clinic, meet its team of skilled doctors, and observe their use of three dialysis machines donated by Razny Jewelers and our direct diamond supplier. This donation is only the beginning of our commitment to their healthcare systems. It is encouraging to see the channels established to provide resources here operating honestly and swiftly.
From Left to Right:
1. Mine to market, the Razny family uses direct sourcing to provide our customers with only the world's finest natural diamonds, at the best cost possible
2. Cutting and polishing at the local processing facility brings high-skill trades tot Namibia
3. Rough diamonds from our source
A crucial part of our purpose with this trip was to examine the working conditions of our natural diamond source and ensure Razny Bespoke gems are harvested in ways that meet international standards for ethical labor and trade. What we saw far exceeded our expectations. Boarding an alluvial mining vessel, we experienced the process by which diamonds are "vacuumed" from the seafloor, leaving nature poised to erase all traces of the extractions. At the cutting and polishing facility in Namibia, we witnessed our industry's commitment to the people who support it. The experts here are locals, born and raised in the area. Natural diamonds bring much-needed skilled jobs that will benefit these communities for generations.
Years ago, our family decided to sell only natural diamonds from locations prioritizing people and the planet. Today, 83% of the water used in our diamond recovery is recycled, safeguarding thousands of tons of water for local neighborhoods. Our partners work with local governments and community leaders to nurture the reclamation process so that the land we mine returns to the natural landscape when work is complete. Additionally, we see the communities who support our work as partners in this noble cause. Filled with gratitude for the people and land that give us the treasures that have become our life's passion, our eyes are open wide, and we are even more committed to accomplishing good thanks to this natural resource.
Schedule your appointment at one of our four locations to view our natural diamond collection and find the gem for you.