The Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) will hold an in-depth discussion on the issue of synthetic diamonds on the second day of the Dubai Diamond Conference on the theme of ‘Lab-grown diamonds and their disclosure: Is there a problem?’
The panel will be led by Peter Meeus, Chairman of the DDE, and Tim Dabson, an ex-De Beers executive. They will ask leading industry figures if detection equipment is sufficient to uncover synthetic diamonds mixed with natural stones, whether sanctions are tough enough to deter such activity, and if the diamond trade can get in a position where it does not always appear to be simply responding to incidents.
Meeus said: "The entry of synthetics into the supply chain has been controversial. Set to be a fruitful debate, our panel experts will address this and how to maintain integrity of products and consumer confidence at the Dubai Diamond Conference in October."
The panelists include Kevin Ryan, CEO, Damas Jewellery Group; Ernie Blom, President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses; Tom Moses, Executive Vice President and Chief Research and Laboratory Officer of the Gemological Institute of America; Praveenshankar Pandya, Chairman of India's Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council; Ayesha Al Mazrooei, a gemstones expert from the Dubai Central Laboratory, and Debbie Azar, Co-Founder of Gemological Science International.
"The issue of synthetic, or laboratory-grown, diamonds is one that has grabbed the attention of the industry in recent years as production has grown and the size and quality of synthetic diamonds has improved," commented Moses. "From the point of view of industry labs, the need to continuously update detection methodology and instruments is a high priority."
Meanwhile, Blom said the WFDB has no issue with synthetic diamonds as a market category, but only with the existence of undisclosed mixing of lab-grown stones into parcels by unethical traders and companies. "The WFDB has 30 affiliated bourses worldwide and around 30,000 members, therefore it is critical that we are able to trade with reassurance. We have no tolerance whatsoever for unethical trading and illicit activity and we would always want to see such people prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I believe that the sanction of being able to eject bourse members is a very real and powerful one."
“Undisclosed lab-grown diamonds are a major threat to our industry. Grading laboratories are essential to ensure the natural pipeline is free of undisclosed lab-grown diamonds and consumers worldwide can be confident of their purchases”, concluded Ms. Azar.
The conference takes place in Dubai's Almas Tower, where the Dubai Diamond Exchange is located, on October 16-17, and will bring together international leaders of the diamond industry ranging from African Ministers to traders, financiers and world-renowned jewelers. It will enable companies and governments in producing and consuming countries to build relationships and highlight the pivotal role that Dubai plays in the global diamond trade.