Regulation of Lab Diamonds Needed to Protect Value & Livelihoods

Opinion piece
22/06/2015 11:02

Industry analyst Ehud Arye Laniado offers a compelling argument for strict regulation, certification and re-naming of lab-grown diamonds. It may seem odd to protect the natural diamond pipeline when man-made stones are environmentally cleaner, raise none of the socio-political issues of operating mines in developing countries and will make “diamonds” affordable to a larger public, but Laniado argues that it is a necessary step to protect the value of natural diamonds. These should be treated like other objects reliant for value on the economics of rarity - such as art, antiques and wine - where counterfeiting is a threat to investments and extensive measures are in place to a forbid it. Preventing the leakage of lab-grown diamonds into the natural pipeline will also safeguard the sustainability of an industry that employs millions of people worldwide and is the mainstay of several developing countries in Africa. While there is a place in the jewelry market for lab-grown stones, they should always be disclosed.