Despite technological advances, undisclosed lab-grown diamonds still pose a tremendous risk to the supply chain, particularly when it comes to smaller stones, attendees agreed at an April 25 conference sponsored by the U.S. Jewelry Council.
In the wake of new announcements of improved detection equipment, the mood at the event, held at the InterContinental Hotel in New York City, was a little less anxious than at a similar event held in November. Still, undisclosed lab-grown diamonds have become such a concern they now have their own acronym (ULGD).
The conference was held under Chatham House Rules—and I don’t mean Tom Chatham—which means attendees can disclose what was discussed, but not the speaker.
Gem labs said they were confident they could identify every created diamond, as mined and manufactured diamonds have different “growth morphologies.” Still, retailers and manufacturers were most worried about melee, which aren’t always sent to a lab. They have had to institute extensive new screening procedures to make sure nothing “slips through.”
One prominent manufacturer admitted that during its tests, “We’ve found things. It’s going to be a long road. It’s going to happen. People will always try things. This is a whole new ballgame.”