HRD: Reports give consumers confidence

Diamond grading reports will become a vital part of the industry’s efforts to “brand” itself in the future, HRD managing director Peter Meuss said in a seminar on Thursday.

This is especially important, he said, as more synthetics and treated stones come on the market. “A certificate tells you a diamond is a natural,” he said.

He noted that HRD’s certificate business has already increased 400%, and overall lab business is projected to keep increasing until 2010.

Meuss said that De Beers’ Diamond Trading Company says its Forever Mark provides an “independent authority” that provides “reassurance” to consumers. But he said that grading reports already provide this reassurance.

He noted that in the future, consumers will have a multitude of diamond options to choose from, including brands based on origin and those connected with fashion “names” like Escada.

Grading reports, he said, can serve as an “ingredient” brand, much like “Intel Inside” does for computers.

“The confidence in the processor helped consumer confidence,” he said. “That will happen with diamonds.”

He noted this trend is already happening. “We see more ads that say ‘GIA cert’ or ‘HRD cert.’ This will become exponentially stronger.”

He closed by talking about synthetics. He noted his organization has developed the “D Screen,” a device that detects synthetics that’s cheaper than GIA’s DiamondSure. And he said that contentions in the press that synthetic stones cannot be detected are “rubbish.”

“For synthetics, it’s much easier than treated stones,” he said. “Synthetics are 100% easily detectable.”

He also noted that there is no big quantity of synthetics on the market. And he said the industry will continue to stress that its quality is natural.

“Why is a synthetic not forever?” he asked. “Because they were made in a machine a few days ago. Diamonds are rare. They are not made in buckets.”