This Indian Commercial on CVD Diamonds Is Concerning the Industry

A new ad warns diamond buyers to get certificates to avoid buying synthetics

Last month, I heard about a CVD diamond awareness TV commercial that had been aired in India and caused some consternation among the local industry. When it was posted on Facebook—in a Hindu-only version—it received 37,000 views and near 700 shares.

It has also been posted online, and if you add subtitles you can see the English translation. In the ad, an apparently wealthy woman is buying vegetables, and somehow the conversation switches to her diamond necklace. The man asks, “Did [the jeweler] give you a certificate? … Is there any declaration in writing that your diamonds are 100 percent natural?”

When the woman says no, the man answers, “These are CVD diamonds that originated from China,” though it is unclear how he could know that by just looking at a piece on her neck. “You have been cheated. … No one will give you a single penny for them.”

The man then explains that he used to be rich, and then he bought a lot of CVD diamonds, and now he sells tomatoes.

The ad ends: “When buying real diamond jewelry … there must be a note written on the bill/invoice that all the diamonds used in [the] jewelry are 100 percent natural. There must be a certificate attached, proving the same.”

There are many odd things about this ad, but perhaps the oddest is that it is the work of a Mumbai-based ad agency, Smart Claps, not a jeweler or anyone in the industry.

I reached out to Smart Claps to find out how the ad came about and got the following response from someone who identified himself as Mr. Subodh, email executive and assistant to the founder:

From some of our corporate friends, we have come across an analysis that customers purchasing diamonds or diamonds jewelry are being cheated with CVD diamonds at the cost paid of real diamonds. In fact, we have come across an analysis [that] some diamond merchants have gone bankrupt due to an inability to identify whether the diamonds they are doing business with are real or CVD. So basically it was made to create awareness among end customers. We are making efforts to make more such commercials as a part of our campaign to make customers as well as diamond workers aware about these differences between cost, labor, wages, and resale values of these diamonds!

Without getting more specific, the executive added: “The reactions are quite interesting as there is almost no awareness in India about CVD diamonds.”

The lab-grown and natural industries don’t agree on much, but I can’t imagine either being happy about this ad. Still, the general message—that consumers should receive assurances about what they buy—is hard to argue with, though not something the industry has readily accessible technology to deal with right now.

This kind of ad probably won’t come to the United States—and likely not in this form. Still, as last month’s Signet forum showed, identifying lab-grown diamonds is a concern the industry doesn’t truly have a handle on. Lab-grown diamonds likely won’t cause all of us to sell tomatoes. But the issues here are real.   

JCK News Director