Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative FAQ

The most frequently asked questions about the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative.

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Why should I apply for the Emerging Designer Diamond Initiative?

If you are a BIPOC jewelry designer, looking to create with diamonds and gain industry access and knowledge, the Emerging Designer Diamond Initiative is for you.

Who is the program open to?

The program is open to jewelry designers in business for at least one year, who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color and are 18 years or older.

Do I need to work with diamonds currently to apply?

No. We encourage those not working with diamonds to apply.  If selected, we will provide diamond education and resources.

What are the application criteria?

  • Business must be U.S. based
  • In business for at least one year
  • Submission of business plan or outline
  • 3 – 5 sketches incorporating diamonds

What are the Emerging Designer Diamond Initiative’s objectives?

We aim to amplify BIPOC designers in the fine jewelry industry and aid in overcoming the inequities they have faced. 

The program will offer BIPOC jewelry designers support with the following:

  • Gain and expand credit for diamond financing.
  • Mentorship with the goal of expanding their business and opportunities.
  • Education and support via a robust network of industry experts and NDC resources.
  • Increase the representation of BIPOC designers in the fine jewelry space. 
  • Foster sales and marketing opportunities.
  • Enhance production capabilities and supply chain management.

Explain why it is so hard for emerging designers to get credit to buy diamonds?

The diamond industry can be opaque and materials are expensive and typically purchased on credit or in cash.  Without a previous history with suppliers, or references in the industry, it can be notoriously challenging to purchase diamonds.  NDC’s program aims to help BIPOC designers establish credit in their own names and understand the process of diamond financing. 

What does the program offer?

  • Mentorship
  • Retail and sales opportunities
  • Public relations
  • Content and social media opportunities
  • Credit to purchase diamonds
  • Access to diamonds in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes
  • Monthly education seminars
  • Industry networking

How much credit is available to each designer?

Each designer will receive a $20,000 USD diamond financing credit.  (Note: Designers will have the opportunity to view diamonds prior to purchase and consign larger diamonds as needed.)

Do I have to pay back the diamond credit?

Yes. The credit will be due back at the end of a 24 month term, however, NDC will ultimately be responsible for this if you are unable to pay at that time.

How many designers will be in the program?

Our program is open until our $1,000,000 diamond credit fund has been utilized.  We do not have a predetermined number of recipients.

What type of support will NDC provide to the designers?

Designers will have access to support from NDC’s vast resources including:

  • Production
  • Sales
  • HR
  • Corporate Responsibility
  • Supply chain management
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Design
  • Trade show support
  • Industry showcases

What ethical and sustainable standards are followed?

All designers must abide by the values and ethics of the Natural Diamond Council and the Jewelers of America Code of Professional Practices.

Have you engaged the BIPOC community while developing this program?

Yes, we are working with a diversity and inclusion specialist from the BIPOC community as well as recently formed Black and BIPOC trade groups to ensure the program provides the maximum benefit possible to the designers who participate. 

If I am a part of the program, do I own copyrights for designs created with diamonds?

Yes. Each designer owns their designs.


How do I apply?

The application can be found here.

How long does the application process take?

Time varies by individual applicant, but we expect about two to three hours per entry.

Can I start my application and finish it at a later time?

The application form cannot be paused, so we recommend you work on the questions in a separate document if you would like to edit and enter them at a later time.

Can I edit my application responses to the questions?

The form cannot be resubmitted, however, should you need to add or edit information, please email us at applications@naturaldiamonds.com.

When should I apply?

Applications for the Emerging Designer Diamond Initiative are open and will be reviewed quarterly.

Is there an application fee?


What if I don’t have a business plan?

Please include to the best of your ability, a summary of your current business and goals for the future.

What if I have a business plan, but have not launched my business?

Your business must be in operation for at least one year to apply. 

Can I apply more than once?

Yes, we encourage you to reapply if you are in a new stage of your business and would like to resubmit additional information.

How will I know if my application has been received?

You will receive a confirmation email that your application was submitted.

Will my information be kept confidential?

Yes, information will only be shared with those involved in the selection process and will remain confidential. 

When will I be notified if I am selected to be a part of the Emerging Designer Diamond Initiative?

After the selection committee meets quarterly, we will be in touch with all applicants in that time frame to let them know their application status via email.

Who is reviewing the applications?

Our selection committee includes David Kellie, CEO NDC, Lorraine Schwartz, Rajni Jacques Global Head Of Fashion & Beauty Partnerships at Snapchat, and Jason Rembert, stylist and designer. 

How are applications being evaluated?

Applications will be evaluated on answers to the questions asked in the form, sketches and information provided by each designer. 

Will there be additional documentation or information required after I submit my application?

Should we have any questions, we will reach out to individual applicants for more information. 

What if I have additional questions about my application or the application process?

Please email us at applications@naturaldiamonds.com