The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced that it has amended its Code of Ethics and Principles of Fair Business Practice and presented recommended Source Disclosure language to the AGTA's strict Code of Ethics document. "For thirty five years, AGTA's Code of Ethics has served as a model for the entire industry", said AGTA CEO Douglas Hucker, and as a living document is was necessary and appropriate for us to amend them to strengthen our commitment to due diligence in the marketplace and to reflect our leadership role in the global efforts in supply chain integrity."
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 Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) is looking for a new chief executive. The current interim CEO, Nick Jones, was taken on by the Gem-A council last October to steer the organization through the fourth quarter and to guide the recruitment process for a permanent chief executive the departure of James Riley, who was suspended in June 2015.
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.
Botswana’s Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila and GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques officially opened the GIA’s expanded lab and education facility in Gaborone. “Botswana plays a significant role in the diamond industry as one of the largest producing countries – both by value and volume,” said Jacques.
De Beers' Element Six Technologies Ltd subsidiary has today (Tuesday) begun legal action in Singapore against IIa Technologies Pte. Ltd alleging infringement of its patents concerning synthetic diamond material. Element Six believes that certain of its patents for proprietary synthetic diamond products and their method of manufacture have been infringed and the legal action aims to defend its intellectual property rights and business interests, the miner said in a statement. IIa Technologies claims to run the world's largest diamond-growing facility.
The Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF has announced the release for international export of an upgraded version of its Automated Spectral Diamond Inspection (ASDI) device. The system is designed to support the diamond industry against the threat of small synthetic diamonds mixed into parcels of natural colourless melée diamonds.
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 FEEG said it is launching the new website in a bid to raise knowledge of its qualification and to enhance cooperation between centers across Europe.
A court battle between EGL USA and the global European Gemological Laboratory network that has lasted for 11 years has ended with both sides losing, according to a report in JCK. The court case began in 2004 with the European Gemological Laboratory network and EGL founder Guy Margel, who died in 2012, filing suit against EGL USA in February 2004, claiming breach of contract related to royalties stemming from the two sides’ 1986 licensing agreement.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) will be holding seminars at the Israel Diamond Exchange next week aimed at improving understanding and knowledge about treatments and synthetics. The speakers at the seminars will be Dr. James Shigley and Brenda Harwick.
The Swiss-based Gübelin Gem Lab and Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF have agreed to harmonize their standards for the color terms “pigeon blood red” and “royal blue.” Their goal is to standardize the usage of these terms for the benefit of the international gemstone trade. The terms have become increasingly popular in recent years as some labs use them in their marketing of grading reports, but agreement on the precise colors has been difficult to achieve since they are considered to be highly subjective.
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.
The speakers include Navy Seal, Marcus Luttrell, whose story inspired the 2013 Oscar-nominated movie, “Lone Survivor,” and motivational speaker Joel Zeff, known for his interactive exercises using audience participation. The Conclave is due to take place at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, outside Washington, D.C., from April 13 to 16.
British company Bowers & Wilkins is using synthetic diamonds to create tweeters, saying they are ideal for producing high audio frequencies. It is the first time diamonds have been used for the purpose in a commercial car, with the speakers being created for the latest BMW 7 Series. The lab-grown stones offer the perfect combination of lightness and rigidity to help deliver crystal-clear, lifelike treble sounds that are designed to accurately reproduce audio beyond the limits of human hearing.
The newly elected board of directors of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) will take office in February 2016 for three-year terms. Jeffrey Bilgore, of Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC, was elected President.
Organizers of the first Mediterranean Gemmological and Jewellery Conference held in Athens in June say the event was so successful that a second conference is being planned for May 2016 in Valencia, Spain. The conference in Athens was organized by the Athens Independent Gemological Lab (IGL) and the CGL-GRS Swiss Canadian Gemlab.
Gem-A, the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, said that following the election for seats to its Council, nine new members were elected, with seven from the U.K. and two from the U.S. who will join three existing Council members. Among the first steps the Council will take is the appointment of a new CEO after James Riley stood down earlier this year due to a controversial dispute over alleged misuse of his Gem-A credit card that has created much rancor in the organization.
Although man-made gems make up a very small part of the $80 billion global diamond jewelry market, demand is increasing as buyers, particularly young people, look for stones that are cheaper and free of ethical issues, according to a report by Antwerp-based consultancy Gemdax. The study found that 45% of North American consumers from 18 to 35 said they prefer natural diamonds.
The head of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses answers question on a wide range of issue of concern to the global diamond industry, including sales, declining profitability, finance, overgrading, generic marketing and the challenges of beneficiation.
Lab-created diamonds manufacturer Pure Grown Diamonds has appointed the founder of Independent Gemological Laboratories, Curtis Lowrey, as its new national director of brand training. Lowrey said in a statement that the company will focus “on making Pure Grown Diamonds the benchmark for the cultured diamond business,” using the word cultured to describe lab-grown diamonds, to which some industry groups object.
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.
Diamond prices declined in July as market sentiment decreased "to levels not seen since the 2008 downturn". Polished prices have fallen as a result of pressure on manufacturers to cut stocks due to lower demand from China and stable, albeit cautious, demand from the American market. The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI) for 1-carat laboratory-graded diamonds fell 2.5 percent during July, while for 0.50-carat diamonds there was a drop of 4.7 percent and for 0.30-carat diamonds a decline of 6.3 percent.
Riley resigned last week despite having considerable support among members, trustees, senior executives and several current and former members of the Gem-A board, Professional Jeweller reported. However, it is not clear whether the resignation has yet been formally accepted by the board, which is currently without a chairperson.
Riley has been on leave since March of this year and was reportedly suffering with ill health. Gem-A is investigating allegations of improper conduct by the former CEO, according to the report.
"What Bates fails to draw attention to is that what is being discussed is simple fraud, criminal fraud. All these are simply illegal activities and are not something that should be settled in-house, it is not a question of simply breaking the ‘clubs’ rules. It is breaking criminal law. (...) If the odd diamond dealer who was proven to be guilty of such nefarious activities ended up in clink that might provide a strong inducement to others to stop such practices and potentially destroy consumer confidence to the peril of the whole industry."
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.
Members of the global diamond trade may face arbitration for dealing in diamonds with a color grading that differs with industry standards by more than one grade, according to a new policy issued by several industry organizations. The policy statement, obtained by Rapaport News last week, was formulated by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) and CIBJO – The World Jewellery Confederation.
The National Jeweler reports EGL USA is now issuing grading reports under the GHI brand name as it continues to work to distance itself from the EGL International brand, which has been damaged by accusations of over-grading. EGL USA is not affiliated with EGL International, and has been waiting in vain for a federal court to rule in favor of blocking entry of EGL reports into the United States, EGL USA executive manager Jakubovic commented in an interview with the National Jeweler. Jakubovic added the removal of all EGL certificates from Rapnet "was a big issue" for EGL USA.
The GIA's ninth annual open day on June 12 will open its doors to the public for a range of seminars. These include a discussion of gemology, diamonds, ruby, sapphires, and emeralds, the history and value elements of pearls, jewelry design, and how to study with the GIA.
The GIA is close to working out what the mystery treatment was aimed at temporarily improved the color of some 500 diamonds submitted for the most part to its Israel lab, GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques said at the annual Rapaport conference on grading standards on May 31. Phil Yantzer, vice president of GIA’s Carlsbad lab services, said: “We know what is being done, but we don’t know how it is being done." Most of the stones were “off-color,” however since such diamonds are common, that didn’t raise an alarm.
In the wake of GIA's announcement on May 12 concerning 424 colorless to near-colorless diamonds that were discovered to have potentially been subjected to an undisclosed, temporary treatment which can lead to a higher grade, the Diamond Dealers Club of New York and the Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America have issued a joint statement condemning such practices, stating, "Disciplinary action will be taken if any member fails to follow DDC and DMIA rules and regulations regarding proper disclosure ...
The International Gemological Institute (IGI) Hong Kong has certified lab-grown, 10.02-carat, E, VS1, type IIa, square, emerald-cut stone produced by New Diamond Technology LLC of St. Petersburg, Russia. The lab stated that the stone was fashioned from a 32.26-carat piece of man-made rough and received "very good-excellent finish grade."
World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) President Ernie Blom has expressed his support for the industry-wide debate on the current problem of overgrading and said it will be one of the topics on the agenda of the upcoming President’s Meeting in Tel Aviv from June 14 to 16.
Yantzer set up the American Gem Society lab in 1995 and led it for two decades. He will retire this coming November.
The Better Diamond Initiative (BDI) has gone in search of the truth behind the Gemological Institute of America's (GIA) recent statement that, “…there has been an increase in undisclosed synthetics…”, but found no details about 'reported' mixing incidents and GIA declined to respond to their inquiry. This leads BDI to ponder whether it is all a marketing ploy to encourage diamond testing.
The new service gives access to the GIA's information resources for 650 million Internet users who use Chinese as their principal language.
The dispute between the Eurogem (EGL International) lab in Israel and the EGL worldwide network has been resolved with CEO Guy Benhamou announcing that the laboratory will be ending its operations as an EGL laboratory as of April 2.
JCK Online reports that the EGL network has reached a deal with the former CEO of EGL International, thus setting a dispute over who owns the Israel license. Guy Benhamou, the CEO of EGL International and its parent company Eurogem, will step down from that position, according to the terms of the deal that settled the argument over reported overgrading of diamonds.
Senior researchers from the GIA and De Beers Technologies UK will make presentations on synthetic diamonds on March 22 at the Congress Center Basel. Tom Moses will moderate a discussion between De Beers' Dr. Simon Lawson and Dr. Wuyi Wang, director of research and development for the GIA.