Israel Diamond Exchange bans the trading of synthetic diamonds

The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) made an historic decision this week to ban the trade in synthetic diamonds. The President of the diamond exchange, chaired by President Shmuel Schnitzer, has banned the trading of synthetic diamonds by IDE members.

“There is no doubt that we must take a firm stand against synthetic diamonds,” Shmuel Schnitzer, who is also the President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, said in a statement. “These are imitations, and must not be handled by members of the legitimate trade. For hundreds of years our industry has produced, manufactured and traded only genuine diamonds – among nature’s rarest treasures. The Israel Diamond Exchange is the first of the world’s exchanges to officially ban synthetic diamonds, just as it was the first exchange to ban the trade in conflict diamonds.”

One major dealer of synthetic diamonds expressed outrage at the decision.

“Israel’s position on man made diamonds is as ill-conceived as the past efforts to ban or restrict trade in our Emeralds and rubies, says Tom Chatham, president and CEO of Chatham Created Gems, San Francisco, the world’s largest distributor of gem-quality synthetic diamonds. “It is a thinly veiled attempt to hold back progress, to restrict competition under the guise of protecting the industry. Does the Israel Bourse think so little of their members honesty and integrity that it must restrict what can be traded by them?”

Chatham adds, “And will Mr. Schnitzer lobby for all other bourses worldwide to ban created diamonds? If so, I believe this is a serious violation of Federal statutes both domestically and internationally concerning restraint of trade.”

In fact Schnitzer is placing the subject of synthetic diamonds on the agenda of the next World Congress of Diamond Bourses, to be held in October 2004.