A historic gathering of global diamond industry leaders, government dignitaries, and celebrities gathered in Las Vegas on May 29, 2014, the eve of the opening of the world’s largest diamond and jewelry trade show JCK Las Vegas, to support the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s (D.E.F.) first U.S. based gala event Diamonds in the Sky Las Vegas, which raised over $1 million dollars to benefit the organization’s global mission of helping diamond communities throughout the world through its Diamonds Do Good initiative.
Guests were treated to an intimate performance by music icon Chaka Khan while mingling with celebrities like Jaime King, Otis Williams of the Temptations, Denise Nicholas and pop music artist Mair. The emcee for the evening was Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., civil rights leader and D.E.F. advisor.
D.E.F. presented the 2014 Global Diamond Industry Achievement Award to His Excellency, the Honorable President Ian Khama and the Government of the Republic of Botswana, the largest producer of diamonds by value in the World.
“I am pleased to welcome the industry leaders to Diamonds in the Sky Las Vegas. Former President Nelson Mandela encouraged us to establish D.E.F. to empower people in diamond communities throughout the world. We are here tonight to celebrate that a diamond equals love,” said Russell Simmons, D.E.F. Co-Founder.
Phyllis Bergman, D.E.F.’s President of the Board stated, “Tonight, the monies that we raise will be used not only to enable D.E.F. to support our existing beneficiaries, to add new ones and to insure D.E.F.’s growth, but to continue to be a progressive and socially conscious organization focused on supporting the good initiatives carried on in all the countries in the world that benefit from the diamond and diamond jewelry business. We will bring this message to consumers globally under our new ‘Diamonds Do Good’ platform.”
Premier Presenting Sponsors of Diamonds in the Sky Las Vegas included, Rio Tinto, Signet Jewelers Limited (Kay Jewelers, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, Zales Jewelers), and The De Beers Group of Companies. Joining them were Premier Partner Sponsor Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited, and Premier Patron Sponsors KGK Group, Le Vian Group and Tiffany & Co. Special guests included Alrosa, represented by Vice-President Andrey Polyakov and Dominion Diamonds represented by CEO Robert Gannicott. D.E.F’s Empowerment Circle Partners include; Forevermark, Dalumi Group, Malca-Amit, Brilliant Earth, Exelco (Tolkowsky Diamonds), Leo Schachter Diamonds (The Leo Diamond), Sarine, and Tiffany & Co.