Survey Says Jewelers Shun Treatments

An overwhelming number of jewelers don’t stock treated diamonds or diamond simulants, according to a new survey by the Jewelers of America and the Diamond Information Center, De Beers’ U.S. public relations arm.The survey asked jewelers if they carried laser-drilled or fracture-filled stones or diamond look-alike synthetic moissanite. Laser-drilled stones were the most popular item, carried by 16% of the jewelers surveyed. That was followed by fractured-filled stones, which are carried by 10%. Only 6% said they carry both drilled and filled diamonds.

The survey also revealed there is limited interest in “Bellataire” diamonds, which have been treated with heat and pressure to improve their color. Only 4% of respondents said they were interested in the product. The same number said they stock synthetic moissanite, introduced in 1998.

DIC’s Cheryl Pellegrino says the survey was done to get a sense of the marketplace. “Particularly around the holidays, there are so many negative stories about treatments it becomes a problem of consumer confidence,” she says. “So we want to have some ammunition to show that treatments are not that prevalent in the marketplace.”

“We weren’t too surprised to see these products aren’t faring well at retail,” adds DIC’s Joan Parker. “Consumers want the genuine article.”

1,722 jewelers responded to the JA member survey, which took place in March 2000.


HOW MANY JEWELERS.


Sell laser-drilled diamonds? 16%

Sell fracture-filled diamonds?

10%

Sell both of the above products?

6%

Sell synthetic moissanite?

4%

Are interested in “Bellataire” stones?

4%

Source: The Diamond Information Center and Jewelers of America