HRD Antwerp Hong Kong has opened its new office in Kowloon, sharing the same premises as the Hong Kong Indian Diamond Association (HKIDA).
Last week, Martin Rapaport published an in-depth diatribe rejecting the claims of synthetic diamand producers that their product is more ethical than naturally mined diamonds, going so far as to call the way synthetic diamonds are marketed as "evil".
US-based diamond grower Scio Diamond Technology Corp. said it has returned to full production following its December shutdown due to what it called a water line break.
The GIA is to start using a screening machine for detecting lab-grown diamonds in batches of melee in the next few months, JCK reports. It will not be offered to the trade, however, unlike the melee-screening device that De Beers has developed. The automated device can screen synthetics and treated diamonds from batches of D-to-Z round melee-size stones. It can also sort melee by size and color. The cost of the service will be size-dependent but will likely start at about 10 cents per stone.
A major article in India's Economic Times describes the developing battle lines between natural, mined diamonds and their lab-grown counterparts. The Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) in Mumbai, home to around 2,500 diamond companies and one of the world's largest exchanges, decided last September to act against traders and manufacturers who dealt in lab-grown diamonds. The outlawed trading in lab-grown stones due to increasing instances of such diamonds being added into parcels of natural mined goods.
The International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA) was launched last month, and industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar quickly revealed flaws in its structure as well as major transgressions against accepted nomenclature, according to a blog on GemKonnect. In addition, the IGDA doesn’t seem to have done anything about the hugely important issue of the undisclosed mixing of lab-grown diamonds with parcels of natural stones. And the recently revealed scandal of CVD-created diamonds being sold with GIA grading reports has done little to calm nerves.
"We received some hostile comments to our story about Stuller selling lab-grown diamonds. This puzzles me. First, Stuller already sells moissanite and other lab-created gems; this was a logical and not out-of-character move for it. And while I understand why some in the industry fear lab-grown diamonds, they are a legitimate, legal product (provided they are sold legitimately and legally), which are not going away.
JCK reports US based jewelry manufacturer Stuller has started selling loose lab-grown diamonds, in a strategy to offer customers another, lower-priced option compared to natural diamonds. According to the report Stuller keeps natural and synthetic diamonds in completely separate circuits. The jewelry manufacturer sees no harm in selling both natural and lab-grown diamonds; "The technology is here. It won’t go away.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has graded the largest polished blue synthetic diamond that the organization has ever examined. The emerald-cut, 5.03-carat HPHT Type-IIB stone was made by New Diamond Technology (NDT), based in St. Petersburg, Russia. The firm is one of the founding members of the International Grown Diamond Association which was launched earlier this month. The stone was inspected at the GIA's New York lab last month and received a fancy deep blue grade, according to a lab. The GIA published an exhaustive article on the stone's characteristics.
"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?
In a startling revelation, industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar will this week unveil an investigation that shows that CVD lab-grown diamonds are being offered for sale with GIA natural diamond certificates by the giant Chinese online retailer Alibaba which claims to have 400 million users. The diamonds, which come with laser inscriptions and GIA certificates, are offered for sale by an Indian company called the International Trading Corporation.
The natural diamond trade should welcome the establishment of the International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA) announced last week even though it may actually serve as a wake-up call for the industry, writes Rapaport's Avi Krawitz. The new body could provide a formal channel of communication in the synthetic – or lab-grown – industry, particularly over the threat of undisclosed synthetics being mixed into parcels of natural diamonds.
Richard S. Garard, the secretary general of the International Grown Diamond Association, an umbrella organization for the lab-grown diamond industry launched earlier this month, answers questions from JCK's Rob Bates on the goals of the group. Among the issues are "properly representing the grown diamond industry, being clear about the properties, the material itself, and to help grow the industry". He said lab-grown diamonds are an "add-on market for the industry. For the foreseeable future, we are a small portion of diamond output.
More than 10 leading grown diamond producers, distributors and retailers have come together to launch the International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA). The association aims to represent the grown diamond industry, promote grown diamonds as a new choice in diamonds and educate about various unique qualities and applications of grown diamonds. Founded in the U.S., the IGDA seeks to serve as the central point of communication, education, development and growth of the industry.
Scio Diamond Technology Corp, which produces lab-grown Type IIa single-crystal diamonds, has received its 28th U.S. patent for what it describes as its unique process to grow diamonds that are chemically, physically and optically identical to mined diamonds. The newest patent is for Gemstone Production from Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) Diamond Plate and was granted on January 5, the firm said in a statement.
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.
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.