Diamond Foundry: Lots of Hype, Not Much New

Opinion piece
17/12/2015 22:19

Diamond blogger Eric Schulte has articulated what many in the diamond industry have been wondering: once one gets beyond lab-grown diamond producer Diamond Foundry's Silicon Valley sponsors and DiCaprio marketing hype, what is so groundbreaking? His conclusion: not much. He writes, "The goods listed on the rather tiny inventory on their site seem near identical to what has been offered by Gemesis/Natural Grown Diamonds for years, with colors mostly in the H-L range, and most stones under a carat. Maybe the better goods are forthcoming ... Furthermore, the stones are apparently not graded by a trusted 3rd party, but by a GIA-trained gemologist. Not to infer that those stones are incorrectly graded, but is there not a conflict of interest when the grading is done by the same party as the one doing the selling? DF has already announced that they won’t be competing on price ... With colors mostly in the H-L range, they certainly aren’t competing in quality either, it seems."**

Ethical?

"What then are they competing with? Assurance of origin. Diamonds born in California, from renewable energy, in a sustainable process. A 100%, nerve-soothing guarantee. How is this better than assurance of diamonds being 'responsibly sourced' by ForeverMark? Does this not seek to capitalize off of a common thinking that all of 'Africa' is straw huts and AK-47’s, unsuitable for 'ethical' consumers? ... Undoubtedly, DF’s customers will pay the premium for equal or lesser goods, and walk away from the jewelry counter thinking they’ve done something 'ethical' and 'good'. But what if they pick DF because of their opinions on De Beers being the 'monopoly' they no longer are? What if they pick DF because of fears of 'conflict diamonds' that mostly don’t exist any more, or disappearing Marange diamonds that probably can’t be found in US stores anyway? What would be the 'ethics' of collapsing national economies and livelihoods because of mutable and incorrectly-placed stigma?" Good questions

** By our count, Diamond Foundry currently lists 22 diamonds at 1-ct and above. Their best colors are G (3) and H (2).