As 2015 Comes to an end, diamantaire Ehud Laniado sums up the year and discusses the main issues of relevance for the diamond trade, including transparency, financing, marketing, synthetic stones and pricing. He states that, "Financing and cash flow are among the most important issues we will have to address in the coming year. This goes far beyond transparency.
Production of lab-grown diamonds will rise to more than 20 million carats annually by 2030 from 3.6 million carats today thereby fulfilling rising demand for diamonds as mined diamond output slumps to just 62 million carats in 2030 from around 125 million carats in 2015, according to a study by an Indian body called the PHD Research Bureau of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The report claims that demand for diamonds will be 221 million carats annually in 15 years time.
North Carolina State University researchers have created a new phase of solid carbon, called Q-carbon, which is distinct from the known phases of graphite and diamond. They have also developed a technique for using Q-carbon to make diamond-related structures at room temperature and at ambient atmospheric pressure in air. Phases are distinct forms of the same material. Graphite is one of the solid phases of carbon; diamond is another.
HRD Antwerp CEO Peter Macken speaks about the work of the Antwerp lab and the services it offers, as well as some of the issues affecting the diamond industry. Macken states that, "As consumer demand for diamonds is forecasted to grow in the years ahead, undisclosed synthetic diamonds entering the market remains a challenge for traders and consumers alike. It therefore is very important that all lab-grown diamonds can be identified by a professional lab. It is the diamond industry’s responsibility to ensure the consumer is never misled. We at HRD Antwerp take this task to heart."
The American lab-grown diamond producer generated total revenue of $236,292 in Q2 FY 2016 which ended on September 30, an increase of 127 percent from the year-earlier figure. However, losses from operations in Q2 FY 2016 were $801,469 from $678,255 a year before. Cash and cash equivalents were $942,802 from $767,214 as of March 31, 2015 as a result of the company’s successful completion of a recent equity offering.
Bourse leaders don’t understand that the best way to avoid unethical practices is to encourage traders to deal with full disclosure and transparency. Rather than banning the trade of lab-grown diamonds and forcing their trade into dark corners, industry leaders should support the establishment of a lab-grown diamond association, which would open the door to a legitimate product and make sure that it is sold transparently.
- Thierry Silber, CEO, Diamaz International, Antwerp-based supplier of natural and lab-grown diamonds
A Michigan State University laboratory that grows diamonds for industrial purposes is expanding thanks to a $5 million investment by MSU and corporate partner Fraunhofer USA. The MSU-based center focuses on two operations: Thin-film coating and the manufacture of diamonds. The coatings are used in areas such as manufacturing and automobiles to help reduce friction in moving parts. Timothy Grotjohn, MSU professor of electrical and computer engineering, said, “These coatings enhance the properties of the surfaces to which they adhere, lowering friction and causing less wear.”
Thomas Biesheuvel of Bloomberg News describes the work of De Beers' Element 6 operation which aims to create technology to detect synthetic diamonds. “We’re very focused on detection,” said Simon Lawson, head of Technologies U.K. at De Beers. “It underpins the integrity of natural diamonds and ensures that consumers cannot be duped into buying a synthetic diamond.” The effort companies such as De Beers and the GIA are making to clamp down on deception benefits retailers, said Daniel Rosen, the owner of 4Cs Diamonds, a jewelry seller in London’s Hatton Garden diamond district.
The Bharat Diamond Bourse has agreed measures to curb the sale of synthetic diamonds at the bourse, Rapaport News reported. Specific details of the disciplinary action that could be taken against dealers were not provided. The move was approved unanimously at the bourse's annual general meeting, according to several attendees who asked to remain anonymous as they were not authorized to comment on the proceedings. The new rule applies to all synthetics, including CVD. The bourse did not provide further comment.
HRD Antwerp recently examined a 3.09-carat CVD lab-grown diamond. It was the first time that a CVD synthetic diamond of such a size was seen at the lab. CVD (Chemical Vapour Deposition) is a technique where diamonds are grown in a specially developed growing chamber using a carbon rich gas.