There is a wave of outrage washing across the global diamond business that hasn’t been matched since the issue of blood diamonds reared its head some 15 years ago. This one relates to the expansion of production of man-made diamonds (MMDs) and has an added edge: It potentially impacts every diamond dealer, jewelry manufacturer, distributor, retailer, and consumer in the business.
The immediate issue is the growing awareness that significant amounts of MMDs are being mixed in with parcels of naturals. This is not a difficult trick. First, detection requires expensive, advanced equipment. Second, there are countless companies manufacturing MMDs in Asia—particularly in China—India, and Russia. It is therefore easy for jewelry manufacturers in Asia to obtain MMDs, with little regulation.
[two_third]The industry has largely ignored the development of MMDs for many years, as production was very low, and most people had little need to bother with them while business was good. There has always been an underlying fear of lab-created diamonds. For one thing, the diamond industry, led by De Beers, has invested heavily in promoting the magic of natural stones, convinced that the public would never opt for diamonds that did not boast a billion-year history. (Privately, however, not everyone believed that to be true.)[/two_third]
“The industry has largely ignored the development of MMDs for many years.”
By Ben Janowski*, president, The Janos Group Ltd.
*Special guest blogger Ben Janowski, a longtime diamond industry consultant and occasional JCK contributor, helms the Cutting Remarks blog while Rob Bates is on leave.