On 27 March, HB Antwerp officially opened the doors of HB Botswana, the company’s first branch outside Antwerp. During the inauguration ceremony, H.E. Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi, President of Botswana, announced a strategic partnership between the Government of Botswana and HB Antwerp whereby the Government will invest in HB by acquiring a 24% equity stake in HB Antwerp.
Chroma Diamonds founded by Alexander Appels and Jan De Henau is a relatively new company in the Antwerp diamond district, which specializes in colored diamonds. Stymied by the relatively “subjective process of color grading”, the 2 have set out on a mission to develop a device that provides more objective measurements for the grading of colored stones.
Jewelry trade publications such as JCK are reporting ever more instances of lab-grown diamonds bearing fraudulent inscriptions linked to grading reports for natural gems. “Given that the resale value of lab-grown diamonds is next to nothing,” said Soraya Cayen, owner of the Carmel, CA. jewelry salon, Cayen Collection, “retailers and consumers alike are understandably seeking confirmation that their diamond is a naturally mined one.”
The American Gem Society (AGS) will shut down laboratory operations at the end of this year and integrate them into the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
AGS Laboratories’ research staff, intellectual property (IP), technology and Las Vegas facility will become part of the GIA, the two organizations announced Wednesday. AGS Laboratories will continue to provide services until the end of 2022 and will contact clients with details of the transition, it said.
Israel-based diamond tech company Sarine Technologies and the Chinese state lab National Gemstone Testing Center (NGTC) announced a partnership that includes Sarine’s light performance technology (“Sarine Light”) has resulted in a co-branded new industry standard for this grading feature on the Chinese market. NGTC will include the light performance grading in its grading reports.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) announced that it has started a winddown of its paper reports, starting with its most popular article, the Diamond Report, to go digital only in January next year. Graded diamonds will be returned with a QR code and the report can be consulted online or via GIA's new app. GIA is also launching an AI-based (Artificial Intelligence) service for diamonds graded in the new system, matching the inscribed diamonds with the digital grading report via a dedicated instrument, which will be available later this year at US$695, JCK News reports.