Despite Russian diamond ban, some may still be getting in the U.S.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – With war still raging between Russia and Ukraine, consumers are becoming more aware of where their products come from.

A ban on Russian diamonds began in February, but just like many things in life, there is always a loophole.

Diamonds coming straight from Russia are banned, but that doesn’t mean some aren’t still coming in.

“Diamonds that have a substantial transformation can be and are relabeled based on the location that the transformation happens,” said Amish Shah, president of ALTR Created Diamonds. “These diamonds that are brought in from Russia are cut and polished in India, so they lose their origin, and there is really a free-for-all in the United States.”

A way to get ahead of this is by always asking where your diamonds are coming from.

“Ask as many questions as you can,” said Jeffery Wells, general manager at Sartor Hamann Jewelers in Lincoln. “We like to give as much background information as we can so they can make the right decision and pick the perfect diamond.”

Shah said, “If you are very, very conscious, then you want to make sure that the products you’re buying are from brands that are able to stand for what they say and the components they use are sourced from known sources.”

Sartor Hamann provides proof of origin, but not every jewelry store does.

“They come with certificates that tell you where they were mined, and we also have lab-grown diamonds, so in that case, you know where they are actually grown,” Wells said.

ALTR is a company that prides itself on cutting its carbon footprint and knowing where its gold and diamonds come from by cutting out middlemen.

“So for any consumers and the people of Omaha and Nebraska that are looking for a beautiful, fine piece of jewelry with diamonds that are grown in India and cut and polished by ALTR within their facilities, Borsheims is the place of choice,” Shah said.

Even though Russia is a major producer of diamonds worldwide, most local stores are not seeing a shortage of selections.

“We have been very fortunate,” Wells said. “Being in business over 100 years, we have contacts all over the globe and cutters from all over the world.”

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