BHP Gets Tough on HPHT Disclosure

Last week, JCK reported
that the GIA lab had cut off a number of clients because they had repeatedly—and
we stress  repeatedly—submitted
HPHT-treated stones to the lab without prior disclosure. The GIA also said it
was providing the name of those axed clients to industry groups like the World
Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers

Now, we have learned that BHP, which markets production from
the Ekati mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, has just sent a letter to its
clients asking them to affirm that GIA has not cited them for non-disclosure—and
reminding them that disclosing HPHT is part of BHP and Responsible Jewelry
Council guidelines. This sends a strong message that not disclosing HPHT is
unacceptable, and it will be interesting to see if other miners follow suit.

Another interesting fact regarding HPHT: De Beers is apparently so skittish
about HPHT it still doesn’t include brown type IIa diamonds, which are subject
to the treatment, in its sight boxes. Spokeswoman Lynnette Gould notes this is
only impacts a small amount of goods, and adds: “DTC is exploring the most
appropriate mechanism by which to sell them… Consumer confidence is of
paramount importance to all of us in the diamond industry.”

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JCK News Director