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About That Parcel of Undisclosed Synthetic Diamonds

By Rob Bates, Senior Editor

Posted on June 8, 2012

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An update on the synthetic diamond situation…

A few weeks ago, a parcel of 600 synthetic diamonds was submitted to the IGI in Antwerp without proper disclosure, sparking a flurry of concern and industry press releases.

A few things made this parcel interesting. First of all, it consisted of only lab-grown gems. It wasn’t “salted” with naturals. Second, the diamonds in question were not just CVD-grown but HPHT-treated, meaning whoever is responsible for these stones had access to both technologies, as well as the ability to produce a large volume of colorless gems. A De Beers statement called the diamonds "strikingly similar" to stones produced by Florida company Gemesis. Gemesis responded it was "100 percent" confident its stones weren't involved.

Last week, Israeli journalist Chaim Even-Zohar put out a copy of his newsletter [$], which included the following passage:

The trail of invoices covering the trail of the undisclosed synthetic diamonds leads to the source—Su-Raj Diamonds and Jewelry USA in New York. This company is ostensibly owned by a partnership between Ashok Bhansali and Jatin Mehta (the very same Jatin Mehta who is also a majority shareholder in Gemesis).

The company in question has not returned my inquiries at press time, nor have the listed press contacts for the Indian Su-Raj, a public company chaired by Jatin Mehta, which is divesting itself from the U.S. subsidiary, as well as changing its name. (All parties are still invited to respond.) And Gemesis CEO Stephen Lux sent me the following statement:

I have been in contact with our associates, and all companies associated are taking an audit of all inventories, transactions, and procedures. We remain certain that there was no Gemesis involvement in this or any transaction involving selling lab created diamonds as anything but…accompanied with full disclosure. As a proactive step, Gemesis has relocated its base of operations from its rented office in NYC [in the same building as Su-Raj], and is now operating from our Florida headquarters.  

(Lux has also declined comment on the ownership of Gemesis, maintaining that his company is private. However, JCK has obtained a business profile that lists people connected to Su-Raj as directors of Gemesis Singapore.)

At this point, we can't say for sure how that parcel got into circulation without proper identification. But if the path followed by these diamonds turns out to be relatively short, that should soothe some industry fears that there are tons of undisclosed diamonds out there.

Representing lab-grown diamonds as natural is a serious infraction of both industry rules and the Federal Trade Commission Guides. It is in everyone’s interest—especially the manufacturers of created diamonds—for these diamonds to be sold as what they are. Lab-grown gems do indeed have a place in this industry. People who misrepresent do not.

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