As the trade copes with increased reports of undisclosed synthetic diamonds, industry officials are starting the new year with initiatives to tackle the issue.
Because most of the reports on mixing lab-grown diamonds with naturals have come out of India, local industry group Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has launched an investigation to ferret out the wrongdoers, according to The Times of India.
“Sources said there are some unscrupulous elements in the diamond industry polishing synthetic stones at secret locations in the city,” the newspaper wrote. “Industry sources said experts from Mumbai have been camping in [Surat] for the last few days to find out the scale at which the synthetic diamonds are cut and polished and the strategy of mixing them with natural diamond parcels.
The GJEPC has also hired consultants A.T. Kearney—which is also doing work for Zale Corp.—and De Beers broker Bonas to develop a “framework…for industry members to trade in natural and synthetic diamonds,” the newspaper said.
GJEPC officials were unavailable for comment.
In addition, on Jan. 8, the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association will hold a meeting to discuss the issue. Industry groups Jewelers of America, the Indian Diamond & Colorstone Association, and the Diamond Dealers Club will be participating.
The meeting will address “concerns about the lab-grown diamonds along with…simulants finding their way into the natural stream without being disclosed,” said president Ron Vanderlinden. “The sole purpose of this meeting is to ensure that the natural pipeline remains uncontaminated and our reputation untarnished by repeat offenders.”