Diamond industry leaders and stakeholders will hold extensive discussions on synthetic diamond trade at the 2017 edition of the Dubai Diamond Conference scheduled for October 16 to 17.
The theme of the talk, to be spearheaded by the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), a Dubai Multi Commodities Centre platform, is “Lab-grown diamonds and their disclosure: Is there a problem?”
The panel will be led by moderators Peter Meeus, chairman of DDE, and Tim Dabson, a former De Beers executive. Among the pertinent topics to be discussed are whether detection equipment available in the market today is sufficient to detect synthetic diamonds mixed with natural stones; if sanctions are strong enough to deter such activity; and whether the diamond trade can get ahead of the curve, instead of seemingly responding to incidents.
Meeus commented, “The entry of synthetics into the supply chain has been controversial. Set to be a fruitful debate, our panel experts will address this and how to maintain integrity of products and consumer confidence.”
The panellists will include Kevin Ryan, CEO of Damas Jewellery Group; Ernie Blom, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB); Tom Moses, executive vice president and chief research and laboratory officer of the Gemological Institute of America; Praveenshankar Pandya, chairman of India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council; Ayesha Al Mazrooei, a gemstone expert from the Dubai Central Laboratory, and Debbie Azar, co-founder of Gemological Science International.
“The issue of synthetic or laboratory-grown diamonds is one that has grabbed the attention of the industry in recent years as production has grown and the size and quality of synthetic diamonds has improved,” stated Moses. “From the point of view of industry labs, the need to continuously update detection methodology and instruments is a high priority.”
Meanwhile, Blom said the WFDB has no issue with synthetic diamonds as a market category, but only with the existence of undisclosed mixing of lab-grown stones into parcels by unethical traders and companies. “The WFDB has 30 affiliated bourses worldwide and around 30,000 members, therefore it is critical that we are able to trade with reassurance. We have no tolerance whatsoever for unethical trading and illicit activity and we would always want to see such people prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I believe that the sanction of being able to eject bourse members is a very real and powerful one.”