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ALROSA Calls for Mandatory Marking of Synthetic Diamonds

Aug 21, 2014 4:38 AM   By Interfax
(RAPAPORT) Interfax: ALROSA has called for mandatory disclosure of synthetic diamonds, Vladlen Nogovitsyn, the head of customer policy, said in an interview with Interfax. The Yakutia-based diamond company's initiatives on regulating the synthetic diamond trade are being discussed by a Finance Ministry group of experts.

"We are for defining what synthetic diamonds are and for mandatory disclosure to the consumer that a product contains synthetic stones. We are not opposed to having natural and synthetic diamonds lying next to each other in the display case, but there must be an indication if a specific product is synthetic," Nogovitsyn said.

Russian law currently has no provisions concerning synthetic diamonds. "Any seller could theoretically sell anything as a diamond and the buyer would not be able to prove it was a deception. On the one hand, this situation does not directly affect the company. On the other, it damages the entire industry. It is no secret that people, concerned about low-quality products on the Russian market, prefer to purchase jewelry abroad, and in so doing they make a big contribution to jewelry purchases in Europe, China, etc.," he said.

One of the regulations being considered is to prohibit synthetics from being called diamonds. "Right now we, jointly with the Finance Ministry and the Assay Chamber, are continuing the discussion and, I hope, in the near future the legal amendments will be approved," he said.

"A significant number of companies with less-than-sterling reputations are showing interest in Russia's domestic market and are lobbying for less stringent import restrictions on jewelry and unmounted diamonds."

ALROSA's clients from India, where about 90 percent of the world's gem diamonds are produced, are the most interested in combating synthetic diamonds. "They will be in the front lines of the fight with synthetics. They will provide information that no one will be able to find for us and provide solutions that no one else can, not lawyers, diplomats or government officials," Nogovitsyn said.

(c) 2014 Interfax Information Services
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