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CIBJO Congress Attendees Address Synthetic Diamonds

May 19, 2014 2:24 PM   By Anastasia Serdykova
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RAPAPORT... The topic of synthetic diamonds dominated the first day of discussions at the CIBJO congress in Moscow. The three-day congress brought together over 130 delegates from 22 countries to explore numerous commission reports and research along with other issues impacting the industry. 

Most delegates agreed that role synthetic diamonds play in the market is one of the most important issues across the industry today. "The issue of synthetic diamonds cropped up a lot over the last year and we felt the need to explain what it is so that there would be no fear," said Udi Sheintal, the president of CIBJO's diamond commission. "The synthetic diamonds are here and they will have their place on the shelf."

St. Petersburg-based INREAL explained how chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and high-pressure high-temperature (HTHP) techniques  enable diamonds to  grow on multi-seed plates. Dr . Andrey Kartusha, who implemented the technology for the company, said that the existing demand for diamonds will allow synthetics to fulfill as much as 3 percent of the jewelry market's requirements. So far, however, the majority of synthetic diamonds are used for technical applications, yet the company confirmed it polishes and sells a small portion of production to the gems and jewelry market, at prices around minus 50 Rapaport to test business demand.

Panelists said that there was no problem  selling synthetic diamonds on the market, the issue centers around disclosure, since some companies conceal the fact that the gems they sell are synthetic. Detection technology is able to identify synthetic diamonds and these machines were presented by panelists, including those manufactured by De Beers and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

"Between GIA and De Beers we have enough equipment to check the diamonds, the problem is that they are too slow," said Ronnie VanderLinden, the president of the Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America (DMIA). 

Susan Flamm,  the senior counsel for the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), said  regulations imply that sellers are responsible for the diamonds they sell, even in the case where the law was unknowingly broken and the diamonds turned out to be  synthetic. However, she said that there have been no complaints so far to JVC regarding  undisclosed sale of synthetic diamonds.

Synthetic diamonds represent only one of many issues facing the industry that all need "to keep the house in order" and be transparent, according to Gaetano Cavalieri, the president of CIBJO.

Other speakers during the first day of the congress, which invited miners, manufacturers and jewelry makers, emphasized problems associated with tight liquidity, given overly-cautious bank lending practices this year. Another issue that was widely discussed was the lack of industry marketing initiatives for natural diamonds.

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Tags: Anastasia Serdykova, CIBJO, congress, cvd, diamonds, disclosure, DMIA, events, HPHT, JVC, moscow, synthetic, transparency
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