"Effective immediately, GIA [Gemological Institute of America] will suspend diamond sealing services," the organization said in press release last Friday. The statement continues, "The Institute is taking this action after recently encountering a small number of GIA sealing packets that had been compromised by third parties after the sealing packets left GIA." The organization discovered "that the diamonds originally enclosed in the compromised packets had been replaced with HPHT (high-pressure, high-temperature) treated natural diamonds."
The diamond grading and certification lab HRD Antwerp has appointed a new CEO, Ellen Joncheere. HRD Antwerp has been in the business of grading and certifying polished diamonds since 1973, delivering some 130,000 polished-diamond certificates annually. It also offers diamond-related training and education programs, in Belgium and internationally, as well as developing and marketing technological devices such as microscopes, detection and screening equipment.
Fosun International, through its holding company Yuyuan Shares, has announced that it plans to invest US$108.8 million to acquire an 80% stake in the diamond, gemstones and jewelry certification and appraisal lab, the International Gemological Institute (IGI). Headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium, IGI is a world-renowned gemological training and diamond appraisal organization, known to be the world's largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute for diamonds, colored gemstones, and jewelry.
In the context of the KP Intersessional taking place this week, which has brought the diamond world to Antwerp, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, represented by the Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Aleksey Vladimirovich Moiseev, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with HRD Antwerp for the establishment of an HRD Antwerp diamond grading lab in Moscow.
HRD Antwerp announced the opening of a jewelry grading lab in the Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ) in Mumbai, for manufacturers who export to various international locations. “Our customers will have safe, reliable and easy access to our services. Our laboratory has the know-how and tools to thoroughly analyze jewelry, provide a general description of the jewel, the quality of the diamonds it contains, and the precious metals of which it is made”, explains Ravi Chhabria, Managing Director of HRD Antwerp India.
HRD Antwerp officially inaugurated its new lab & office premises in Mumbai on Tuesday April 25, joined by Belgium's Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem. This expansion underscores HRD Antwerp's commitment to fundamentally strengthening the ties between the world's leading diamond trading center – Antwerp – and the Bharat Diamond Bourse - the world's largest diamond bourse. “HRD Antwerp started its activities in India back in 2012, to provide faster and more convenient service to Indian diamond companies”, explains Ravi Chhabria, Managing Director of HRD Antwerp India.
"No, this is not a joke - I wish it were." So begins Chaim Even-Zohar's latest Diamond Intelligence Briefing, which uncovers a bizarre oversight involving the U.S. Kimberley Process Authority (USKPA): it does not officially exist at all. Rather, USKPA's Director and General Counsel Cecelia Gardner told Zohar the organization has been operating under a DBA ("doing business as") name, while the full name is "U.S. Kimberley Process Authority Institute" (USKPAI) ... but this as well has ceased to exist.
In his latest Diamond Intelligence Briefs, “Keeping Stock of U.S. Kimberley Process Certificates”, industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar takes another hard look at the U.S. rough diamond trade and the country’s half-hearted approach when it comes to implementing Kimberley Process (KP) certification standards domestically.
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.
HRD Antwerp inaugurated its flagship store on 23 June 2016 in Paris. It is the result of an exclusive partnership between HRD Antwerp, Europe’s leading authority in diamond certification and selected retailers. Peter Macken, CEO HRD Antwerp, said: "HRD Antwerp is the leading authority when it comes to certification, education and equipment. We aim for perfection in everything we do, delivering the highest quality in all our products and services.
Diamond grading and certification lab HRD Antwerp has launched a new track and trace feature so that clients can now track their diamonds throughout the grading process. This new functionality provides a complete overview of the whereabouts of the client's diamonds or jewels within the HRD Antwerp Diamond Lab. The feature is a new addition to "My HRD Antwerp", a secure, 24/7 online service that provides global access to the HRD Antwerp certificate archive and transit results.
The Kimberley Process has sent an announcement warning its members of yet another fake KP certificate from Sierra Leone, the second in two weeks. The Focal Point of the United Arab Emirates reports that the UAE KP Office was contacted by a client prior to the import of a shipment to check the authenticity of a scanned copy of a KP Certificate from Sierra Leone. The UAE KP Office contacted Sierra Leone who confirmed via email that the attached copy is a false certificate.
A copy of the fake certificate is in annex.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre has forwarded an alert from Kimberley Process authorities about a fake KP certificate issued from Sierra Leone. The warning reads:
The contentious issue of certificates and the different labs decision-making standards on cut, angles and symmetry ratios could be aided by work taking place on defining the criteria that determine a diamond’s optimum performance when it comes to reflecting and transmitting light, writes Rahul Jauhari, the Commercial Director India for HRD Antwerp, in Gemkonnect. "Light performance could well be the one criterion that overrides all the other criteria when it comes to determining whether or not a diamond has been cut the very best way it could have been.
The Indian government on 30 March exempted from customs duty cut and polished diamonds imported by HRD Antwerp's Mumbai Diamond Institute for grading and re-export, taking the number of such entities enjoying the facility to four. In July last year, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) had exempted from customs duties cut and polished diamonds imported for grading or certification and re-export by three laboratories and agencies.
"The Government of India should set up a regulatory authority to monitor the gemological laboratory business in India. The gemological laboratories issue only grading reports and no certificates. These laboratories have their own set of rules and regulations and even if consumers are cheated they have limited or no role to play. If a consumer has purchased a lab-grown diamond on natural diamond grading report, where will he go on being cheated? Who is responsible?
By Chaim Even-Zohar. Reprinted from Diamond Intelligence Briefs by special arrangement.
The vast majority of British jewelry buyers want to receive an independent grading report when buying a diamond, yet only 42% actually receive one, according to a study by De Beers' International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research. The study into attitudes towards diamond grading reports in the UK market reveals a huge “gulf” between what customers want and market reality. Most respondents said they strongly believed that grading reports raise confidence in a sale and the value of the diamond, however only around half of those that wanted one when buying a diamond received it.
The GIA has extended the submission date for the confirmation service announced on November 25 to March 31 in response to concerns expressed by members of the trade. Anyone with a GIA grading report originally issued between November 2014 and October 2015 who is concerned about the validity of the report due to the unauthorized changes to grading reports uncovered in October 2015 may submit the original report and the referenced diamond to any GIA location for the confirmation service at no charge until the March 31 deadline for submissions, the GIA said in a statement.
Israel-based Tweezar is a startup company that is trying to disrupt the global diamond trade by means of a new diamond imaging device. The device takes a high-definition image of a diamond, and merchants can then use the Tweezar app on their smartphone, which has embedded optical character recognition (OCR) technology, allowing them to scan the diamond’s certificate from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the International Gemological Institute (IGI).
When Leonardo DiCaprio, who starred in the movie Blood Diamond, says he’s backing a start-up company to produce synthetic diamonds because this will ensure that the product is “ethically produced”, the whole world listens to him. And they think we are an industry that cannot be trusted. We have to prove him wrong.
- Sanjay Kothari addresses three major issues facing diamond industry: undisclosed synthetics, businesses taking on debt while knowing they are heading for bankruptcy, and illegal tampering with diamond certificates.
The Belgian authorities at AWDC’s Diamond Office have alerted the Kimberley Process team about a fake KP certificate from Sierra Leone that was confirmed by the Sierra Leone authorities. The KP has therefore called on all its members to be vigilant regarding shipments of rough diamonds accompanied by a Sierra Leone KP certificate. As for the certificate itself: the numbering on the certificate (4306) was a number range used in 2014. The parcel number is also incorrect. This number always ends with the certificate number; in this case it ends with the number 4911(JMI/GGDO/4199).
Mel Moss, president of Regal Imports Ltd., discusses his "terrible" buying trip to India, bemoaning the lack of well graded polished diamonds (particularly Canadian) and the "abundance of poorly graded GIA stones selling at discounts." As of early November, quality goods in India were on demand but simply unavailable. Consequently, "any fresh and properly graded diamonds in SI qualities will be priced very high.
According to a statement released by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the Correctional Court in Antwerp has sentenced five people, including four diamond traders, to mandatory prisons sentences and imposed "significant" fines for certificate fraud.
Jewelry and watch retailers, as well as brand owners, must cooperate to make the mining sector that supplies the materials on which they depend more transparent and responsible. Consumer sentiment is changing on these issues, and the point of sale is where our industry feels most sharply the new public awareness.
JCK reports the Gemological Institute of America has revoked 1042 grading reports from diamonds predominantly submitted at GIA in India, after internal controls revealed reports were altered by former employers of GIA's database partner Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) hacking into the system. GIA urges clients in possession of any of these grading reports or diamonds to return them immediately to GIA. Both GIA and TCS said they have transfered the results of their investigation to Indian police authorities, who are currently investigating the matter.
Colombia is hosting an inaugural International Emerald Symposium from October 13 to 15 in Bogotá. The conference is organized by Fedesmeraldas, the Colombian Emerald Federation, and supported by all the country's emerald-related bodies and the Ministry of Mines and Energy. The conference aims to address the challenges and opportunities faced by the emerald industry including resource management, manufacturing, treatments, certification, nomenclature, consumer education and branding, say the organizers.
The GIA has started providing the GIA Diamond Focus Report, a low-cost digital report for natural, D-to-Z color, round brilliant-cut diamonds weighing between 0.15 and 0.29 carats. Laser inscription of the GIA report number is also included.
Based upon progress made to date by the Central African Republic, KP Participants and Observers reached an understanding that the CAR may commence exports of rough diamonds upon full implementation of an “Operational Framework” and pending completion of the KP Review Mission report. The announcement states that, "The 'Administrative Decision on the Central African Republic [Temporary Suspension]' of May 23, 2013 is amended to allow for resumption of trade in rough diamonds from 'compliant zones' that are to be established under conditions set forth by this AD."
At a time when diamond exports have been falling, the government has decided to exempt cut and polished diamonds imported by three laboratories in India from customs duty.
Swaziland's mining sector is one area that will soon make a huge contribution to the economy of the country. David Kunene, speaking on behalf of the acting principal secretary at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, said that Swaziland is taking the necessary steps to abide by the mining standards of diamond mining in the country. “Swaziland is on the right path to increase pace in participating fully in order to gain full benefits of the mines and minerals sector,” Kunene said.
European Gemological Laboratory (EGL) operations outside of North America will adopt a unified grading standard to restore the reputation of the lab's grading reports, the company announced on Monday.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has issued a license to the first laboratory for gold and jewelry in Saudi Arabia, according to the National Committee of Precious Metals and Stones at the Saudi Council of Chambers. Laboratory Solitaire Director General Muhannad Al-Sudrani said the new laboratory would save travel to laboratories outside the Kingdom.
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) has developed a work plan to resume rough diamond exports from the Central African Republic (CAR), which would partially end the sanctions of the country’s diamond production. Bernado Campos, Angola’s chairman of the KP, explained that KP participants and observers reached an understanding that CAR may commence exporting rough diamonds upon full implementation of a proposed operational framework and pending completion of a proposed KP review mission to the country.
Radio France International reports that at the intersessional meeting of the Kimberley Process in Luanda, the organization that regulates the diamond trade, the decision was made on Friday 26 to partially lift the embargo on the Central African Republic for two years. The diamonds mined in the "green zone", that is to say in the west of the country, will be exported and the Central African Republic will be able to receive the tax revenue.
The Central African Republic (CAR) says it will engage the African Union chair President Robert Mugabe to seek solutions following strong objections to its Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) registration bid by civil society at the ongoing intercessional meeting in Luanda, Angola. Civil society says that diamond revenue can be used to finance civil conflict in CAR. Kazungui maintains that civil society is pushing a western agenda and wants to avoid greater African participation in formulating decisions that inform diamond trade.
The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) has announced the certification of Chamilia (Sworovski Group Brand), De Beers Diamond Jewellers and Buzio Snc, bringing the total of newly certified members in June to seven. The list of new members is included in the article attached. Chamilia vice president, global merchandising and marketing Catherine Ottaviano said, “It is so important that the industry cooperate with standards to ensure business practices that benefit the consumer and our world."
Sarine Technologies Ltd. announced that Gemological Science International (GSI), one of the world's largest gem labs, has decided to incorporate into its polished diamond grading and education services the full Sarine ProfileTM. This includes light performance measurement and analysis, imagery and cut quality graphic rendition.
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.