HRD: Not Just Diamonds Any More

The Diamond High Council (Hoge Raad voor Diamant, HRD), the nonprofit organization at the service of the Belgian diamond trade and industry, is jumping into the colored stone certificate business. HRD has been well known in Europe since 1976 for its diamond quality grading reports and Institute of Gemmology. HRD also acts as a customs clearinghouse for diamonds, an important position since it’s said that more than 50% of the world’s rough, polished, industrial, and gem-quality stones pass through Antwerp.

“Now it’s time to offer a colored gem identification report,” says Anita Colders, director of the new gem lab. “The demand for gemstone reports is steadily increasing. That is why HRD has expanded its service by offering gemstone reports.”

“We couldn’t imagine the market without diamond reports,” says Colders. The HRD diamond grading report is well respected worldwide by diamond brokers. The report gained even more respect when, in February 1996, the HRD certificates department became the first diamond lab in the world to be officially accredited by ISO (International Standardization Organization). Colders, who holds a graduate degree in industrial chemistry, will spearhead the new colored-stone venture.

Colders has been with HRD since 1981. For 15 years, she has taught gemology and diamond-grading courses around the world. She was promoted to senior gemologist in 1990 and teaches a wide range of specialized courses on mineralogy and the latest techniques for gemstone examinations in Belgium and abroad.

The new gem report will identify the gem as natural or synthetic as well as whether or not it has been treated (heat, irradiation, fracture filling, etc.). Colders notes that HRD has all the equipment necessary to thoroughly examine a gemstone. “We also collaborate with the physics laboratories of the University of Antwerp whenever necessary,” she notes. “A gemstone report is made only for natural, transparent, and loose gemstones. We will not be identifying the country of origin,” she adds. “We will only make the distinction between oil and artificial resin” on emerald identifications. Pearls will not be identified.

For more information, contact Diamond High Council, Institute of Gemmology, Gemstone Reports, Hoveniersstraat 22, B-2018 Antwerp; (32 0) 3 222 05 11, fax (32 0) 3 222 07 04; e-mail: gem_inst@hrd.be, Web site: www.diamonds.be.