From the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) in Mumbai, GemKonnect reports on the formation of the International Diamond Monitoring Committee (IDMC), an initiative intended to ensure the separation of natural diamonds from synthetics as they pass through the diamond pipeline to the retail counter.
Diamond expert, industrialist and industry analyst Ehud Arye Laniado takes an incisive look at the value proposition of synthetic diamonds, taking their producers and marketers to task on their main selling points. Reprinted in full with the permission of the author.
“To me, synthetic diamonds are not diamonds. It is a different product. We don’t know what their value is now or how this is going to evolve. So we are not financing lab-grown at the moment, but we may consider it over time, when it is a more mature product."
- Erik Jens, when asked by moderator Rob Bates (JCK) if ABN AMRO is currently financing lab-grown diamond companies during SRK panel debate with Paul Rowley (De Beers) and Tom Moses (GIA) at JCK Las Vegas
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has made an alarming discovery, namely, a natural white diamond covered by a thin (80 microns, or 0.003 inches) synthetic layer that colors it blue – and has warned that more such composites might be on the market. The 0.33-carat stone is a composite of CVD synthetic Type IIb diamond overgrowth on a natural Type Ia diamond.
The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), part of De Beers Group, today announced the launch of a world-first Synthetic Diamond Detection training course. It is the first in a series of education services to be rolled out during 2017, according to a press release. The two-day lab-based course will be unveiled in the U.S. towards the end of the JCK Jewelry show in Las Vegas on 8 and 9 June, and in India at the IIDGR Facility in Surat on 15 and 16 May.
Some interesting industry developments took shape at last week's Diamond Detection Expo and Symposium sponsored by India's Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).
Signet Jewelers, as part of its effort to support and reinforce its Responsible Sourcing Protocol for Diamonds (D-SRSP), has been working on a project with product-testing firm United Laboratories and the Diamond Producers Association to create a facility for testing synthetic diamond screening equipment, writes Rapaport News.** The intention is to create an industry standard for such equipment so that, "su
The U.S. Department of Justice, through its District of Minnesota U.S. Attorney's Office, has announced a federal indictment charging former Scio Diamond Technology Corporation (Scio Diamond) Board of Directors Chairman, Edward S. Adams, with "orchestrating an elaborate fraud scheme to embezzle millions of dollars of investors' funds." The indictment alleges the activity happened between 2006 and 2013. Adams was indicted Wednesday in U.S.
In recent weeks there have been growing signs that the volume of synthetic rough diamonds flowing into the pipeline is rising significantly. Most goods appear to be of Chinese origin, and in sizes from one point up to three quarters of a carat. What is particularly worrying is a definite rise in the incidence of synthetics stones in quite large parcels of rough diamonds, which its owners previously had assumed were all natural ... Right now we are seeing particular demand among members of the rough diamond trade, who have a particular need to defend the integrity of their product.
Since the real (forgive the pun) possibility of cultured diamonds being produced economically in volume started to become apparent, the industry has reacted with a completely closed mind ... The good news is that the woeful performance of polished diamonds is at least forcing some people to think, but thinking in the same old box is not going to do much good. Nothing is being aggressively promoted by the industry about the enormous benefits [created by] the vast majority of natural diamond mining, the jobs and wealth it creates in often very impoverished areas of the world.
Avi Krawitz of Rapaport News sat down with Joseph Kuzi, CEO of EGL Asia and director of Diamond Services, a Hong-Kong based synthetics testing facility, to talk about the phenomenon of undisclosed synthetic diamonds. He heard that the technology behind and production of synthetic diamonds is increasing rapidly, and just because we do not hear about every instance where undisclosed mixing of synthetic and natural diamonds is discovered, does not mean it is not widespread.
The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), part of The De Beers Group of Companies, has unveiled a US$5 million expansion of its diamond grading and testing centre in Surat, India. The move follows the Group’s initial investment of US$10 million in 2015 to establish the facility, which has the capacity to process over US$500 million of diamonds every year.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) on December 5 published the following press release: Following a five-month pilot program which started in June 2016, clients are now able to submit round D-to-Z melee-size diamonds through their fully automated GIA Melee Analysis Service.
The UAE Kimberley Process Chair (KP Chair), Ahmed Bin Sulayem, will host a special forum on synthetic diamonds and their impact on the future of the diamond industry on November 14 in conjunction with the annual KP Plenary. Bringing together representatives from 81 countries, the global diamond industry and civil society, the event will discuss a number of key issues facing the industry.
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.
Diamond industry analyst Edahn Golan takes a close look at US consumers' polished diamond purchasing trends based on data that retail metrics research firm NPD collected from nearly 4,000 specialty jewelry retailers. Golan says that, "One of the biggest issues in the diamond industry, especially in the manufacturing sector, is a lack of impartial and detailed data about consumer purchasing habits.
A week after the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) announced that its Hong Kong laboratory recently identified an undisclosed chemical vapor deposition (CVD) grown diamond weighing 5.19 carats - the largest ever CVD synthetic diamond ever detected - Tom Moses, the GIA’s executive VP and chief laboratory and research officer explains to Michell Graff of The National Jeweler how lab-grown diamond certificates issued by GIA differ from their natur
JCK's Rob Bates writes that one of the largest remaining specialty jewelry chains in the US, Helzberg Diamonds, will no longer carry synthetic diamonds. "Last year," writes Bates, "Helzberg Diamonds’ experimented with stocking lab-grown diamonds. It was the largest jewelry retailer to do so.
In his latest article, JCK news director Rob Bates looks at the impact of GIA reporting the discovery of the biggest ever undisclosed CVD synthetic diamond at its Hong Kong lab. Bates argues that even though most cases of undisclosed synthetic diamonds occur in India and China, this latest discovery demonstrates synthetics pose a real and present threat to the entire industry, including the retail segment.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has announced that its Hong Kong laboratory recently identified an undisclosed chemical vapor deposition (CVD) grown diamond weighing 5.19 carats, the largest ever CVD synthetic diamond ever detected, "marking a significant milestone." GIA says that CVD technology has accelerated over the last several years, and the rapidly improving techniques have produced large, high-quality near-colorless and colorless synthetic diamonds.
Under the slogan, "Bring out any truth hidden behind your jewel that promised natural diamonds", the Dharmanandan Research Centre (DRC Techno) announces the J-Secure synthetic screenig device. Claiming it to be the, "World's first instrument that detects synthetic diamonds in studded jewelry", DRC says it will detect synthetic diamonds as small as in the -2 sieve size (0.003 carats) that have been jewelry. DRC is best known for producing D-Secure, which detects synthetics in loose diamonds.
The United States Jewelry Council (USJC) will host a jewelry industry summit, "One of the most important consumer confidence issue of the day – undisclosed lab-grown diamonds." Signet Jewelers is sponsoring the event. In addition to the 13 U.S.-based jewelry trade associations that are members of the U.S. Jewelry Council, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses also supports the event, which will be held November 1 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
As announced last week, the Antwerp diamond bourses will make it possible for all its members to avail of HRD Antwerp screening technology at no cost. This initiative adds a second layer of confidence, as polished diamonds imported to Antwerp from India are already checked at AWDC's Diamond Office.
This afternoon, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) hosted a forum organized by the Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses (FBDB) to tackle the issue of undisclosed synthetic diamonds and address the legal and technical aspects concerning the disclosure of synthetic and treated natural diamonds.
Russian mining giant ALROSA introduced an innovative detection device for polished diamonds at the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. According to the press release: As part of the measures to protect the natural diamond market from illegal mixing of natural and synthetic diamonds, ALROSA and the Federal State Bugetary Institution “Technological Institute for Superhard and Novel Carbon Materials” have developed a series of innovation devices for detecting polished diamonds and diamond jewelry.
(izvestia.ru) Translation by Rough-Polished: According the Izvestia Daily, Vice President of ALROSA Rinat Gizatulin said that the Russian diamond miner is exploring the possibility of establishing its own operation to produce synthetic diamonds. However, analysts doubt ALROSA will be interested in starting its own production as an independent business: rough diamond production is highly profitable for ALROSA, and it makes no sense for the company to ‘waste its time’ on producing lab-made diamonds on an industrial scale.
The Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses has announced an information session on "Disclosure of Synthetic, Treated Natural and Natural Diamonds" to be held on September 29 at the Antwerp Diamond Bourse. The forum will cover the legal framework regarding the disclosure obligation of bourse members, as well as technical information on detection of synthetics, featuring speakers from: HRD Antwerp, GIA and Forevermark/IIDGR/De Beers, followed by a question & answer session.
New Diamond Technology (NDT) has produced a blue diamond that it says is the world’s largest lab-grown blue diamond – and more than twice the size of its previous large blue stone, reports Rob Bates in JCK Online. The SI, Asscher cut stone weighs 10.07 carats and has a fancy deep blue color. NDT's largest blue diamond had been a 5.03-carat stone.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr is CEO of the Diamond Producers Association, formed in May 2015 by seven of the world’s leading diamond companies to maintain and enhance consumer demand for, and confidence in diamonds. Lieberherr joined Rio Tinto’s diamond business in 2005, "a life-changing move", he tells us. With the official launch of DPA's "Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond." campaign to take place in early October, Lieberherr lays out his vision of the DPA and responds to some questions on key issues in the diamond industry.
The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), part of the De Beers group, announced that it will unveil the latest addition to its suite of synthetic detection technology at the forthcoming Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair between September 14 and 18. The new instrument, PhosView™, is a compact, self-contained screening device designed to allow parcels of polished stones to be quickly and accurately analyzed to determine if they contain potential High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) synthetics.
Synthetic diamond manufacturer Scio Diamond, based in the U.S., reported a 7.5% rise in revenue (+ $12,886) for the first quarter of the 2017 fiscal year, ended June 30, increasing to $185,061. However, it also came with a larger (+39%) loss - from $848,585 in Q1 2016 to $1,181,675 in Q1 2017.
If the interest demonstrated at the "Screening & Identification of Synthetic Diamonds" seminar hosted by GIA at last week's India International Jewellery Show is any indication, undisclosed mixing of synthetic and natural diamonds is of great concern in India. The Tribune India writes, "According to industry sources, many small traders are quietly mixing the lab-cultured stones with natural diamonds and palming the consignment off to unsuspecting buyers.
The term ‘mined diamonds’ is slowly entering mainstream language in the press and elsewhere, and I find it troubling. We need clear differentiation between natural diamonds and lab-grown goods, and it needs to be far more distinct than mined vs. lab-grown. Natural diamonds were always diamonds. They were formed billions of years ago and were mined after huge sums of money were put into exploration.
Rapaport Auctions and Trading issued a press release today offering clients, "the opportunity to purchase parcels of melee that are 100% natural and untreated," and their timing could not be more appropriate. On July 18, Morgan Stanley released a report on the effect of synthetic diamonds on mined diamonds, which says that the share of synthetics is so far negligible, but not for long.
Citing a Morgan Stanley & Co. International research report, JCK's Rob Bates writes that synthetic diamonds pose a threat to the diamond industry, in particular to the prices of small 'melee' diamonds, and could turn out to be, “a serious potential disruptor” to the established diamond market.
In a recent article entitled "In the rough: A diamond is for ever. But its allure comes and goes", The Economist seized the occasion of the non-sale of the "Lesedi La Rona" diamond to expound on the difficult times facing the diamond industry. "It was the latest disappointment to befall an industry that has had little to celebrate.
JCK's Rob Bates reports on the latest round of infighting among the directors at synthetic diamond manufacturer Scio Diamond, as former director James Korn charges in his resignation letter that current chair Bernard McPheely has “led to Scio to insolvency” and the company “operates on life support.” Addressing his letter to Chairman of the Board Bernard M.
On June 16, Amazon launched a new diamond jewelry Collection, selling jewelry set with both natural and lab-grown diamonds manufactured by a joint venture between Dutch startup House of Eleonore and Royal Asscher.
JCK's Rob Bates reports on his interview from JCK Las Vegas with vice president of Russian diamond producer Alrosa, Andrey Polyakov, who recently took over the leadership of the World Diamond Council (WDC). The main talking points are, "whether the KP will ever include human rights language and just what Alrosa thinks about synthetics", as well as the ongoing dispute between current KP chair United Arab Emirates and the civil society coalition. Concerning the latter, Polyakov said, "Both the NGOs and the KP chair are doing a great job.
Industry analyst Edahn Golan provides a rundown on last weekend's JCK show in Las Vegas, touching on traffic in the jewelry and diamond areas, the Diamond Producers Association's (DPA) marketing campaign, the hot topic of synthetic diamonds and ALROSA's strong presence in the desert. Particularly the high-end jewelers reported positive results, though much of the time the area was distinctly quiet.