NATIONAL JEWELER:The Angolan state-owned diamond company is pulling its investment in a Swiss jewelry company with ties to the country’s former first family.
Bloomberg reported that Sodiam, a subsidiary of Endiama, the country’s national mining company, announced it would divest its stake in Geneva-based De Grisogono after a board meeting Dec. 1, saying it was doing so for “reasons of public interest and legality.” De Grisogono’s connection to Angola’s former first family led gem explorer Yianni Melas to go on a hunger strike recently in Geneva, where he was boycotting not only the brand but also Christie’s auction of the “The Art of De Grisogono, Creation I,” a necklace featuring a 163.41-carat flawless, D color diamond at center that was mined in Angola.
Melas has been calling for a boycott of the brand since this spring, using his Instagram account to help raise awareness.
When the necklace sold for $33 million (including buyer’s premium), the brand announced its partner, Nemesis International, would donate 1 percent of the of the hammer price to the foundation Fundação Brilhante, an organization championing social change in the areas surrounding mines in Angola.
The low amount of the donation spurred Melas to continue his hunger strike in Athens, eventually extending it to a total of 30 days to represent the total the necklace sold for (minus buyer’s premium), he told National Jeweler. He has two days remaining.
YM: Can anyone understand how this article felt when it was released 2 days before my final hunger strike and final climb up the Acropolis? I never expected any recognition or public announcements from the new President of Angola before my final last few days. This was my own battle after Geneva. And I can tell you, I really felt alone before that. When it happened I cried silently while up at the Acropolis while I stared at the beautiful structure which represented both my heritage and the worlds greatest symbol of Democracy and Freedom. I cant recall ever feeling so many emotions combined with a feeling of “Victory”and Gods grace and presence over this long battle. The timing of just 2 days was a miracle for me. 🏛🇬🇷💙(full article at bio)