The Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses, together with the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), has held a well-attended, two-hour information session on synthetic stones for members of the city’s four bourses.
The Federation informed bourse members that starting on January 1, 2017, the four Antwerp diamond bourses will be among the first to actively enforce the guidelines defined by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) for combating undisclosed synthetics.
AWDC CEO Ari Epstein announced that – in collaboration with the Federation – HRD Antwerp’s M-Screen, a melee-screening device, would be made available at the Antwerp bourses for members to screen their goods free of charge. In addition, HRD Antwerp and the WTOCD scientific research center announced the M-Screen +. This updated version of the compact automated melee screening device will be able to screen polished diamonds as small as 0.5 points up to 10 points, with an increased top speed of 15,000 diamonds an hour.
The mandatory guidelines include the obligation to add a clear and predefined description of goods on invoices and memo documents, as well as written declarations and disciplinary action against traders who do not implement them. These were stated in a charter created by the WFDB.
Willy Rotti, President of the Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses, said: “We have always made consumer protection our highest priority. The threat of undisclosed synthetics that end up in the diamond trade is an issue we address with the utmost diligence. Product misrepresentation, such as undisclosed synthetics, can greatly damage our reputation as an industry towards our clients, retailers and consumers. We believe it is our responsibility as the world’s largest diamond trading hub, representing well over 1,700 diamond companies, to lead by example and send a clear signal.”
Ari Epstein, CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, commented, “Over the past decades, Antwerp has been a pioneer for increasing transparency, building confidence and promoting innovation in the global diamond industry. By making the M-screen available to the Antwerp diamond community, we are taking another big step forward in our commitment to a sustainable diamond industry.”
The info session also featured presentations on the technical aspects of synthetics as well as the latest developments in detection methods and equipment by HRD Antwerp experts Dr. Katrien De Corte and Ans Anthonis, the GIA’s Director of Research and Development, Wuyi Wang, and Jamie Clark, Commercial Director at De Beers.