With the onset of the New Year 2014, The Times of India newspaper published a news item that would have a significant impact on the multibillion dollar diamond trade and industry in the country. According to this newsreport, in view of the consistent reports emanating from India on the alarming unethical practice of mixing lab grown synthetic diamonds with natural diamonds, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) of India, the apex regulatory body of the gem & jewellery industry in India, has finally decided to crackdown on this unethical practice and has launched an investigation to study the extent of the problem and to find out ways and means of putting a stop to this unhealthy practice, that would tarnish both the image of the industry and the country.
According to this newsreport there are some unscruplous elements in the diamond industry cutting and polishing synthetic stones at secret locations in the city, which was subsequently mixed with natural diamonds in natural diamond parcels to avoid detection. Industry sources said, that 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 of India, while taking its own measures to curb the practice, has also hired two renowned international consultants – A.T Kearny, which is also providing consultancy services to Zale Corportion, and De Beers broker Bonas – to develop a framework for industry members to trade in natural and synthetic diamonds.
The 3rd-strategy adopted by the GJEPC is the organization of a meeting of all stakeholders in the diamond trade and industry, called by the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America on January 8, to discuss all aspects of this issue, to be attended by industry groups not only from India but also America such as , the Indian Diamond & Coloredstone Association, the Diamond Dealers Club and Jewelers of America, the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry retail marketplace.
According to Ron Vanderlinden, president of Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America, the meeting will address concerns about the lab-grown diamonds along with simulants, finding their way into the natural stream without being disclosed. The sole purpose of this meeting is to ensure that the natural pipeline remains uncontaminated and our reputation untarnished by repeat offenders.