Brave New World

Separating real from man-made is no longer a naturalWhat do these four recent news items have in common? • De Beers announced a rationing plan limiting production to 40 million carats a year, emphasizing that worldwide diamond production would fail to meet rising demand in the coming years. • A new type of high-quality, unseeded cultured pearl hit the market in March. Classified as natural, the pearls’ identification process was difficult, say lab technicians. • The Diamond Dealers Club in New York City is embroiled in a legal brouhaha over voting procedures and defining who is a legitimate member. • And, as we report on page 98, a CVD (chemical vapor deposition) diamond larger than 1.00 ct. was recently graded, a first for a man-made diamond this size.These four developments point to the complex new reality of our rapidly changing standards. The limitations of “natural” ar

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