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News, Feature Stories, The Great Diamond Debate













Zero tolerance for deceptive diamond trading

The Indian gems and jewellery sector is a US$40 billion industry and, according to MEHUL SHAH, around 1 million families earn their livelihood thanks to the diamond industry.

The Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) is the world’s largest diamond trading hub and, in accordance with accepted industry terminology, the BDB adheres to the definition of a diamond as being ‘natural’ or ‘mined’.

We do not consider synthetic stones to be real diamonds and for that reason the BDB has banned the trading of synthetic stones. It is the only bourse in the world to prohibit such trading from the bourse’s 20-acre complex.

Some synthetic diamond manufacturers may be using misleading marketing and advertising methods to promote synthetics stones, however consumer awareness has increased a great deal in recent years and buyers know what is real and what is man-made.

The BDB provides detection facilities for its members who can use the hi-tech equipment to ensure the ongoing success of our transparent diamond trading.

"Any person caught illegally mixing synthetic stones with natural diamonds will be suspended from entering the BDB complex."

Any person caught illegally mixing synthetic stones with natural diamonds will be suspended from entering the BDB complex.

The International Natural Diamond Monitoring Committee (INDMC) was formed in July 2017 to tackle the issue of mixing undisclosed synthetic stones with natural stones, among other objectives.

The Committee consists of the major Indian trade bodies; the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) and other international trade organisations, all of which have done excellent work in raising consumer awareness as well as increasing the marketing of natural diamonds.

All diamond businesses in the pipeline – from mine to market – support full transparency, respect human rights and ensure the laws of the land are fully maintained. Thanks must go to the World Diamond Council (WDC) and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) which have done a lot of work in this field.

It’s not widely known by consumers that around one million Indian families earn their livelihood thanks to the diamond industry which is one of the reasons why the INDMC is concerned about the danger to consumer confidence that can be caused when synthetic diamonds are sneakily mixed into packages of natural diamonds – mainly in smaller goods – or diamond set jewellery.

The Indian industry has also commissioned a great deal of research into the issue of lab-grown diamonds and has prepared extensive information on synthetic diamonds. Indian diamond dealers all over the world can learn about the methods used to make such stones – High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).

In addition, the Diamond Producers Association has created Project Assure, which is an ongoing industry-wide project to objectively establish industry standards regarding the performance of Diamond Verification Instruments (DVI) and/or synthetic detection machines. The objective is to support the diamond and jewellery trades to make informed decisions and acquire the right equipment for their operations.

Synthetics banned at Bharat Diamond Bourse
Synthetics banned at Bharat Diamond Bourse

Currently about 13 detection equipment manufacturers have signed up to the project. These companies have developed 21 instruments designed to identify synthetic stones. For example, the Gemmological Institute of India has designed and developed a detection device, which sells for only US$7,000.

At the time of publication, Project ASSURE was due to report its results and aims to have an online industry directory.

I would like to conclude by emphasising the position of the WFDB, of which the Bharat Diamond Bourse is a leading member: undisclosed mixing of synthetic, or lab-grown, diamonds with parcels of natural diamonds is illegal and transgressors should be prosecuted. We have zero tolerance for whoever is caught in this illegal activity.

Any member found to be trading or mixing synthetic stones will be ejected from the bourse and lose their membership and may also be prosecuted for fraudulent activity.

The WFDB’s Charter on the disclosure of synthetic, treated natural and natural diamonds demands that companies print a statement on their invoices providing a proper description and declaration attesting to the nature of the diamonds sold: namely, that all goods are guaranteed to be untreated, natural diamonds.











ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mehul N. Shah
Vice President • Bharat Diamond Bourse

Mehul N. Shah is vice president Bharat Diamond Bourse and is on the board of Indian Customs Valuation Panel as well as chairman of the Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ) in Mumbai. He is chairperson of the Star Brillant Group and on the board of Diamond India Limited.









Sunday, 16 December, 2018 07:37am
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