India's Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has recently taken steps to deal with the current industry concern about the undisclosed mixing of man-made diamonds with natural diamonds.
"These concerns have arisen as a consequence of media reports as well as a few instances of actual undisclosed mixing being detected, namely Dalumi Diamond India Pvt Ltd and Narola Gems," says the GJEPC in a statement.
As part of its pro-active steps to deal with the issue, the GJEPC, together with the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) immediately initiated investigations, which are still going on, and has called for an explanation from the aforementioned companies.
"Based on the result of such investigations, the legal team of GJEPC and BDB will initiate actions as per the constitution of both the bodies. Similarly the parties who are the victims had been directed to file for adequate complaints and were advised to proceed as per the law of land," explains the GJEPC in its statement.
Natural Diamond Monitoring Committee
In August, the GJEPC, together with various trade associations, formed a Natural Diamond Monitoring Committee (NDMC) with a mandate to: protect the overall interests of the natural diamond industry; enhance consumer confidence by encouraging proper disclosure and preserve trust within the industry; ensure proper segregation of natural diamonds and synthetic diamonds; and formulate policies in order to avoid any future scenarios of synthetic diamonds being misrepresented and passed off as natural diamonds in course of the business transactions.
"The technology for developing man-made diamonds has been available for some time and now many companies have started manufacturing as well as polishing them commercially. The industry needs to make sure that consumer confidence in the industry is maintained through segregation of the natural and man-made diamonds value chain and disclosures at every step. India is taking the lead in dealing with the situation."
Additionally, the GJEPC and BDG conducted a Synthetics Diamonds Seminar in Surat in March and in Mumbai in October to create awareness of the issue amongst its members.
Other Pro-Active Steps
Furthermore, to better understand synthetic diamonds and their likely impact on the industry, GJEPC has appointed experts - A.T. Kearney (Global Management Consulting) Firm and Bonas & Co. (DTC brokers) - to assist in a project that will establish the current status of synthetic diamonds and prepare a framework/guideline for industry members to refer to when trading in natural and synthetic diamonds.
According to the GJEPC, a steering committee composed of industry leaders is meeting regularly to drive the agenda of the NDMC forward and to look after the completion of the project. "Based on the findings and recommendations (expected by February 2014) of the experts, the Council along with the National and International Trade bodies and Government will formulate strategies to address the issues identified and formulate necessary guidelines," notes the Council.
Lastly, the GJEPC and BDB have also decided to set up a "Man-Made Diamonds Quick Detection and Resource Centre" at the BDB within the next month. This center will offer facilities of quick detection of man-made diamonds in addition to providing information about man-made diamonds, equipment for detection, and training for operating the equipment.