Thursday, 12 July 2012

Undisclosed Sythetic Diamonds

For those of you who read jewellery news, you can skip this one.  I want to talk to the younger less experienced staff today.  Recently 12 “undisclosed synthetic diamonds” were identified at GIA’s Hong Kong grading facility.  This means that diamond cutters or distributors submitted these stones for grading without telling GIA that they were man-made.  The bigger headline should be “GIA catches another 12 synthetic diamonds.”

The reason this is so alarming in the industry is that every time a scientist figures out how to synthesize a gemstone or artificially enhance a gemstone, there’s a chance that we as an industry will be duped into buying something we assumed would be natural.  There’s usually a large cost difference between a gemstone which is prospected for, mined, sorted, parceled, purchased, cut and sold into the marketplace and one which is squirted out of a mold. 

Synthetic opals, emeralds, sapphires and rubies are usually pretty easy to spot.  A synthetic diamond takes an expert and expensive equipment to identify.  This is why having a grading report from a reputable lab, sold through a reputable designer is CRITICAL.  If your store is selling jewellery bought from a bag-man (travelling salesman who carries live jewellery) who your buyer had never seen before, but was compelled by low-pricing to buy a few designs, there’s a risk that those diamonds could be conflict diamonds, synthetic diamonds or stolen goods.

This is why relationships are so important in this industry.  That’s why friendships evolve.  We’re all in this together trying to guard against the unknown.  By us wholesalers keeping a close relationship with our diamond sources, and you keeping a close relationship with us, we’re like the circle of rhinos protecting our clients from oncoming predators.

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