The International Grown Diamond Association will promote and educate consumers about lab-grown diamonds
Producers of man-made gems have joined together to found the International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA), a new group meant to promote created diamonds.
The U.S.-based association will promote and educate consumers about lab-grown diamonds as well as represent the industry, says a statement. Its site can be seen here.
The organization comes as leading diamond miners formed their own group—the Diamond Producers Association—to tout the benefits of natural gems.
Some of those diamond miners may take issue with some of the new association’s contentions. Its ethics rules state that “the term synthetic with respect to grown diamonds is incorrect and misleading for the end-consumer.” It instead endorses the terms lab-grown diamonds, cultured diamonds, cultivated diamonds, and grown diamonds. Only one of those terms appears on the Federal Trade Commission’s list of approved terms (synthetic, laboratory-grown, and [company-]created). The FTC allows cultured if accompanied by one of the approved terms.
Among the things that the organization wants to tackle: the International Organisation for Standardization’s new diamond guidelines and trying to influence the Federal Trade Commission’s guides.
“If you are together in an organization, it gives you more recognition,” says Tom Chatham, CEO of one member, Chatham Created Gems and Diamonds.
Vishal Mehta, CEO of IIa Technologies, sister company to Pure Grown, is the group’s founding president. Richard Garard, president of Morrisville, N.C.-based Microwave Enterprises, IIa’s marketing and research partner, is secretary general. Both serve on its governing executive committee. Neither was available to speak to JCK at press time.
Perhaps not surprisingly, given IIa’s representation on the organization’s three-person executive committee, one member describes it as a main force and funder behind the group.
This is not the first time diamond growers have tried to form their own association. In 2006, the Cultured Diamond Foundation was founded in South Africa, with support from Pure Grown Diamonds’ forerunner Gemesis. That group’s site remains live.
Founding members include: Washington Diamonds, New Diamond Technology, Scio Diamond, Golcondia, Pure Grown Diamonds, Polished Diamond Co., Diamond Foundry, MiaDonna & Co., and Chatham Created Gems & Diamonds.
“We, as an emerging industry, felt the need to collectively represent grown diamonds on a global forum, share technical facts about growing diamonds and the technology involved, so that there’s an informed knowledge about the value, beauty, and eco-advantages of grown diamonds,” said Mehta in a statement.