Wanted: a lab-grown/natural diamond dialogue

Rob Bates

Yesterday’s meeting on synthetics was a valuable exercise in figuring out where the trade goes from here, but it turned out to be off the record, so I don’t have much to report from it. I would, however, like to relay the piece of advice I gave at the meeting.

But before I do, let me go back to when the industry first began hearing about lab-grown diamonds. When Gemesis and Apollo Diamond first burst on the scene, the principals from those organizations made sure they were very visible and high profile. Carter Clarke and Bryant Linares attended countless industry conferences. Industry people began to understand the product. Some began to sell it.

All that has changed. Today’s breed of companies are non-transparent and often mysterious. The lab-grown companies seem increasingly to view themselves as apart from the traditional industry.

Take the recent uproar over non-disclosed synthetics. Almost every group has spoken up about it, including De Beers. But whose voice has been missing in all this uproar? The lab-grown diamond manufacturers. They have barely said a word with regard to a topic they have more than a vested interest in. While the old companies bent over backward to say they are committed to disclosure, today when you talk to some executives—not all, but some—they say they believe in disclosure, but fundamentally, it’s not their problem.

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Source JCK Online