Next time you buy diamond jewellery or loose polished diamonds, make sure that you are not being cheated with synthetic colourless diamonds. A huge quantity of synthetic colourless stones, which are difficult to distinguish from naturals are in circulation in the diamond market.
International Gemological Institute (IGI), world's leading gemological laboratory, issued a trade alert in India about the huge volume of synthetic colourless diamonds in the market after they received more than 600 synthetic colourless diamonds for grading at their lab facilities in Antwerp and Mumbai last week.
"I believe there are other undisclosed colourless synthetic diamonds out there," IGI Worldwide co-CEO Roland Lorie said in a statement. "But we just don't know how many. I don't think the volume is huge. You just wonder how this parcel got out there, and how many else are left," he added.
The IGI's alert follows an alert issued by De Beers' Diamond Trading Company (DTC), which noted that undisclosed stones had also appeared at National Gems & Jewellery Technology Administrative Centre (NGTC) lab in China, some few days ago.
Synthetic diamonds have become increasingly popular throughout the past years, as they give off a beautiful luster and an authentic look that is very similar to real or natural diamonds.
There are two basic methods that are used when it comes to the production of synthetic diamonds. The most common technique is called high pressure high temperature process, otherwise known as HPHT. This process produces a stone that is very similar to natural diamonds. Another technique used called chemical vapour deposition or CVD.
The India is fast emerging as a leading consumer market for polished diamonds after US. London-based, BMO Capital Markets, estimates that India represented 9 per cent or $1.3 billion of global polished diamond demand in 2010, which exceeds the total Chinese demand for polished diamonds that stands for 5 per cent or $1 billion.
"Trading in misrepresented or undisclosed products, whether inadvertently or not, could cause irreparable damage to reputation and undermine the integrity of the diamond supply chain," said a senior official of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).
See more : DCLA