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Articles from DIAMOND GRADING LABORATORY / CERTIFICATION (71 Articles), (DISCONTINUED) GEMSTONES - SYNTHETIC STONES (29 Articles)











Alrosa is conducting research into synthetic diamond detection
Alrosa is conducting research into synthetic diamond detection

Alrosa joins battle against undisclosed synthetics

Russian diamond producer Alrosa is the latest organisation to join the fight against undisclosed synthetic diamonds – but one diamond expert suggests the industry might have it wrong.

In his address to the World Diamond Council meeting, which was held in Moscow last week, Alrosa president Andrey Zharkov revealed that the diamond mining company was conducting research into the development of “effective and fast” synthetic diamond detectors.

Andrey Zharkov, Alrosa president
Andrey Zharkov, Alrosa president

He said the company was also supporting and participating in legislative initiatives to help regulate the trading of synthetic stones within the jewellery industry.

Zharkov outlined a series of regulatory changes that had been undertaken in Russia to increase transparency in the diamond sector, stating that Russian federal law defined ‘precious stones’ as being “exclusively of natural origin”.

“[Stones] of synthetic origin, even [those with the] characteristics of natural stones, are not considered to be precious ones,” he noted.

Zharkov further explained that as of next month, all jewellery retailers in Russia would be required to disclose any treatments or processes applied to a diamond in its accompanying documentation, including whether it was of natural or synthetic origin.

He said this would guarantee a “unique position” for natural diamonds in the jewellery market, allowing for the “legal and transparent” trade of these stones.

“We [the diamond sector] all understand that the future of our industry depends on the development of effective distribution of the goods,” Zharkov added.

Creating a market

The controversy surrounding synthetic diamonds has been ongoing, heightened by numerous reports of synthetics appearing in parcels of natural stones.

While the industry has begun to accept that synthetic diamonds are here to stay, according to one diamond expert, the prevalence of undisclosed synthetics could largely be attributed to continued industry resistance towards this diamond type.

Garry Holloway, Holloway Diamonds managing director
Garry Holloway, Holloway Diamonds managing director

While the industry has begun to accept that synthetic diamonds are here to stay, according to one diamond expert, the prevalence of undisclosed synthetics could largely be attributed to continued industry resistance towards this diamond type.

Garry Holloway, managing director of Melbourne-based Holloway Diamonds, explained it was unusual that despite the fact that synthetic diamonds were “premium” products, retailers did not readily accept them.

“It costs just as much to cut and polish a man-made diamond as it does an actual [natural] diamond,” he said, “so why is it that we don’t have a marketplace that’s opening up to man-made diamonds and legitimising them? Why wouldn’t we be creating a market for people to create jewellery with all sorts of unnatural but beautiful coloured diamonds?”

Holloway is known for his contrarian views on the diamond industry, and he makes an interesting argument regarding the need for a shift in perception about synthetic diamonds.

Background reading: Diamond grading games

“As long as people can make them [synthetic diamonds], and if nobody’s going to sell them, then people are going to find ways to cheat the market to move these products,” he stated.

“If the trade doesn’t find a way to sell man-made [synthetic] diamonds, there will continue to be a problem with these diamonds finding their way into the natural diamond market.”

As previously reported by Jeweller, several other diamond organisations have recently taken action in a bid to boost transparency and improve consumer trust.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) announced it would produce its own synthetic diamonds next year to gain a better understanding of the stones; Dharmanandan Research Centre launched a cost-effective synthetic diamond detection device; De Beers Group introduced a synthetic detection service; and the Bharat Diamond Bourse banned all synthetic stones from its premises.

More reading
Diamond dealers say ‘no’ to synthetics
Synthetic diamond service to boost consumer trust




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Thursday, 22 August, 2019 09:05pm
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