Two weeks ago, IDEX Online published an opinion piece by Thierry Silber, CEO and founder of Diamaz International and Madestones, entitled "How to Kill Four Birds With One Stone". Here Silber makes the following proposal on the way to tackle the heated issue of undisclosed mixing of natural and synthetic diamonds: "Why not remove the mixing issue by selling both types of smaller diamonds at the same price up to a certain size?" The main problem as he sees it is the cost of detection involved in screening for synthetic diamonds, particularly for smaller manufacturers. "In tackling this issue it would be best to start at the very beginning of the supply chain with the polisher in India who is not making enough money to feed his family. Each polishing factory needs a screening device but most do not have one." They cannot afford screening devices, and so they lose time sending their stones to laboratories. Silber asks: "Are these added major costs really necessary?"
Last week Silber felt compelled to clarify his opinion in response to criticism from the diamond community. "Firstly," writes Silber, "I would like to say that it was NOT my intention to criticize the Indian diamond community. I am aware that some of my words were poorly chosen and demeaning and for that, I am genuinely sorry. With regards to the mixing of natural and synthetic diamonds, I was trying to say that if a problem with a mixed parcel occurs then it is every bourse member’s duty to report it and lodge a formal complaint," and again apologizes if his wording led to misinterpretations. "Concerning the issue of pricing, I believe that natural diamond prices will always be higher than laboratory grown prices due to the factors of origin and rarity. I only brought attention to the idea of mixing very small diamonds to point out that labour is the main factor affecting overall cost ... I understand that this point could be misinterpreted as implying that all natural and synthetic diamonds should be mixed and sold at the same price. Again, that was NOT my intent in writing this article."
He concludes his clarification with the following: "Everyone is entitled to present differing points of view for discussion purposes. My regret is that I brought up certain points in a manner that could be subject to misinterpretation and for that I am truly sorry. The last thing that I wanted to do was to degrade the reputation of the diamond industry."