In a startling revelation, industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar will this week unveil an investigation that shows that CVD lab-grown diamonds are being offered for sale with GIA natural diamond certificates by the giant Chinese online retailer Alibaba which claims to have 400 million users. The diamonds, which come with laser inscriptions and GIA certificates, are offered for sale by an Indian company called the International Trading Corporation.
Even-Zohar explains how he contacted the firm to double-check the offer. How did they get the GIA certificates? "Some of the CVD diamonds when sent to laboratories get passed as natural diamonds and hence they can be provided with GIA natural diamond certificates," he was told by the firm. Even-Zohar made inquiries about the goods both in his own name and via a Dutch proxy buyer for a range of round diamonds. The Indian office acts purely as the sales office of its Chinese mother company, with ITC's main office being in Shenzhen, China. ITC claims that it holds "a stock of more than 25,000 IGI and GIA certified diamonds”.
According to the article, which will be published on The Diamond Loupe as a guest editorial by Chaim Even-Zohar on Thursday, obtaining thousands of real GIA certificates is not that difficult, and is not due to a mistake by the GIA. There are thousands of diamonds whose GIA certificates went off in a different direction, for example with jewelry items that are set with dozens of stones, such as a necklace. Consumers do not ask for all the individual certificates. They can then be sold to crooked traders. The GIA's senior vice president, Tom Moses, said the lab will immediately "investigate this fraudulent use of our certificates."