The 21st Presidents’ Meeting of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) begins today, September 23, in Dubai. It will take an in-depth look at the issue of synthetic diamonds with a panel discussion dedicated to this issue, while another panel will discuss traceability, provenance and blockchain technology. Both will feature high-level industry experts. “While Presidents’ Meetings are the intersessional events between the biennial World Diamond Congresses, this meeting is of utmost importance," said IDMA President Ronnie VanderLinden.
"Our industry is facing multiple challenges, from low rough diamond sales, a slack in manufacturing, a debilitating drop in prices of polished, to industry financing difficulties and a disturbing lack of consumer confidence in and desire for polished diamonds and diamond jewelry," VanderLinden commented. "We’ll have a lot to talk about in Dubai, and hopefully, we’ll get away with insights how to move forward and, among others, how to rekindle the consumers’ interest and desire for diamonds.” As he mentioned, synthetic diamonds are also a major discussion item on the sister organizations’ agendas. IDMA, WFDB, DDE and the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) have joined hands in organization of a roadshow of current diamond identification and detection technologies. The roadshow will run September 25 and 26.
“What distinguishes natural diamonds from lab-created diamonds ... is that natural diamonds are a non-renewable source,” said WFDB President Ernie Blom. “The supply of natural diamonds is limited by nature. Importantly, more expensive natural diamonds have historically maintained resale value after purchase which is tied to the inherent rarity of higher-quality natural diamonds. Synthetic diamonds will not hold value. Natural diamonds do.” He calls for the diamond trade to unite around a campaign to stress as much as possible the rarity of natural diamonds and the best way to express the rarity argument is related to the issue of the resale price. “As production of lab-grown diamonds is abundant, the price can never be sustained. This means that buying a lab-grown diamond will never give you back the same amount when you later try to resell it or when your children try to do the same,” Blom writes.
The special panel sessions bring together leading industry figures to debate two of the most important issues facing the trade. The first panel – "Lab-grown diamonds: a call for action" – will feature Israel Diamond Exchange President Yoram Dvash, IDMA President Ronnie VanderLinden, Diamond Producers Association CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Bonas Diamond Brokers & Consultants India's Parul Marchant, and Rapaport India's Sathi Nair. The second expert panel will debate the issues of traceability, provenance and blockchain technology in rough diamond trading. The panelists are De Beers Group's Feriel Zerouki, NAMDIA's Kennedy Hemutenya, London Diamond Bourse President Alan Cohen, Alrosa's Head of International Relations Peter Karachiev, African Diamond Producers Association Executive-Secretary Edgar Carvalho, James Bernard, Director of Sales for the DMCC, and Iris Van Der Veken, Executive Director of the Responsible Jewellery Council.