The Future is here. For many years, almost a decade, the diamond industry has keenly followed developments on the synthetic or lab-grown diamonds. The fear was that unscrupulous elements might try and pass them off as natural diamonds, thereby shaking consumer confidence and casting a shadow on the credibility of the diamond business itself.
A recent alert issued by the IGI, said that they were submitted diamonds for certification in both Antwerp and Mumbai (a much smaller quantity here) which turned out to be synthetics. The trader who had submitted them in good faith, apparently purchased them in the open market paying natural diamond prices for them, and thought he was buying natural stones.
Gemesis one of the pioneers of the technology was quick to issue a statement saying that it was in no way involved and that it has always been fully transparent. The DTC, WFDB and the GJEPC have all issued individual statements to their various constituencies. The cry is uniform – be alert, be transparent and make sure that you do not deal in synthetics without full disclosure.
Lab grown diamonds – specially the colourless variety – seem to have gone to the next stage of development – the ability to supply at the mass market level. The industry needs to be fully alert and cognizant of the dangers. It cannot afford another shake-up like the one it received over blood diamonds.