Diamonds



On Sight

Some of De Beers’ 75 sightholdersare breathing a sigh of relief after
the company extended their buying contracts until March 2012.

The agreements were originally set to expire in April 2011. But
completing the notoriously detailed sightholder questionnaires often
brings companies to a halt, explains Diamond Trading Company managing
director Varda Shine.

“People take forever to fill out the
profiles, and we take forever to score them. It would actually be much
better if the market focused on reviving the business,” says Shine,
adding that De Beers feels “it is better to judge people in a normal
year.”

This move extends the current contract period to four
years, although it will revert to the standard three-year period after
next April.

The DTC may also require sightholders to join the
Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), as rivals BHP and Rio Tinto have
done.

“We would like it if we could save people the duplication,
[so] that by applying to one, you are automatically applying to the
other,” she says. “It’s something the Best Practice Principles team is
working very closely with the RJC team on.”

The company also is
looking at ways to “simplify” the contract process and make it “less
bureaucratic.”
—Rob Bates

Laundry Day

The USA PATRIOT Act requires that diamond dealers have a written program to prevent money laundering, Cecilia Gardner, president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, recently told the Diamond Dealers Club.

To prevent inadvertently financing terrorism, dealers must not engage in business with anyone whose name is on the list maintained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, Gardner warned. —RB

Nano, Nano

What happens when a Caltech ­engineer goes shopping for an engagement ring? (Besides, you know, a bride?) The sudden realization that if nanotechnology works on silicon, it also should work on carbon-based diamonds.

Diamonds before and after Fire Polish

After researching diamond cuts and learning about the late Ideal Cut mastermind Marcel Tolkowsky, Benjamin Gudlewski and associate George Maltezos tracked down Tolkowsky’s grandnephew Gabi, who set them up with his U.S. partner, Suberi Brothers.

Suberi now holds the exclusive rights to the pair’s patented Fire Polish process, which uses the aforementioned nanotechnology to polish the lower-girdle facets on a stone’s pavilion, increasing its fire and scintillation. It can be used only on natural, untreated round brilliant stones.

“There are lots of brands out there that claim to increase brilliance,” says Glenn Markman, executive vice president of Suberi Brothers. “But there is no other brand that even attempts to increase dispersion other than Fire Polish.” —RB