Sunday, March 10, 2013

Move to create awareness about synthetic diamonds

Penetration of synthetic diamonds in world's biggest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat has become a major cause of concern for the Indian diamond industry leaders.

Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council plans to create awareness among the diamond manufacturers and traders about the threat that the synthetic diamonds could pose to the diamond industry in India and the importance of the 3Ds, that is, disclosure, differentiation and detection.

GJEPC in association with Indian Diamond Institute (IDI) and Gemological Institute of India (GII) will organize a seminar on 'identification tips and techniques related to synthetic diamonds' at IDI's City Centre campus in Vesu on March 16.

The objective is to create awareness among the diamond manufacturers, especially the diamond traders about the lab grown diamonds, and provide them with tips and techniques which would enable them to effectively differentiate between lab grown and natural diamonds.

Executive director, GJEPC, Sabhyasachi Ray told TOI, "The lab grown diamonds have really become a potential threat to the industry. We are targeting the diamond traders, both rough and polished diamond dealers, so that they can accurately differentiate between the synthetic and natural diamonds."

In May 2012, International Gemological Institute (IGI), world's leading gemological laboratory, had issued a trade alert in India about the huge volume of synthetic colourless diamonds in the market after it received more than 600 synthetic colourless diamonds for grading at its lab facilities in Antwerp and Mumbai last week.

It was followed by an alert 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 similar to 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 the High Pressure High Temperature process. Scientists take pure carbon and place it in a controlled environment with an equal amount of very high pressure and very high heat. This process produces a stone that is very similar to the natural diamonds.

Another technique is called Chemical Vapour Deposition or CVD. The CVD process includes a specially created environment that is just right for carbon atoms to be used as a gas to go on to a wafer of a diamond in a crystalline formation by a form of layers. The process was first introduced in 1980's and it does not require a huge amount of pressure to make the synthetic diamonds, like in HPHT.

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