Have you read the cover story of IDEX Magazine’s March edition? If not, please take a few minutes this weekend to read it. In my article, “The Diamond Iceberg and Climate Change,“ I argue that the future of natural melee diamonds is endangered by their synthetic counterparts. Not because the latter are better, but that because of fraudulent manufacturing and trading practices with synthetics, the entire supply pipeline may lose confidence in natural melees.
In a recent interview with Stephen Lussier, Executive Vice-President, Marketing, De Beers Group, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India (GJEPC) asked if he is worried about the influence of prices lab grown diamonds (LGDs) on the value of natural melees.
Lussier, however, said he didn’t think so. He said: “The slowdown in the smaller sizes that was witnessed during the second half of last year is mainly cyclical - it is driven primarily by demand-supply dynamics…While the first half of 2018 was very good, there was a pileup of inventory in the midstream during the subsequent period, primarily on account of the situation in three of the most important markets for smaller sizes of diamonds – India, Turkey and the Middle East...Two other factors will impact demand and supply over the medium term. Firstly, the fact that Argyle, the largest supplier of small rough diamonds for the past couple of decades is moving to the end of its life-cycle. Within a few years, it will no longer be a source of supply, significantly reducing the amount of small rough entering the pipeline.”
Unfortunately. Lussier decided not to discuss the elephant in the room. He did not say a word about the past large-scale fraudulent practices of mixing melees into parcels of natural diamonds. He neither noted that these practices still continue, nor that they have not been tackled properly and effectively by the local industry leadership to this day.