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KP CHAIR HOSTS SPECIAL FORUMS ALONGSIDE PLENARY MEETING – FOCUS ON SYNTHETIC DIAMONDS, ROUGH VALUATION
10 November 2016
Alongside the Kimberley Process' annual Plenary, which is set to take place in Dubai from November 13 to 17, the UAE Kimberley Process Chair (KP Chair), Ahmed Bin Sulayem will be hosting a Special Forum on the subject of synthetic (laboratory-grown) diamonds and their impact on the future of the diamond industry, as well as the 3rd Special Forum on rough diamond valuation.

The Special Forum on synthetic diamonds will take place on November 14th, opening with a presentation entitled: "Natural and Synthetic Gem Diamonds:  A Symbiotic Relationship or Zero-Sum Game?" and will look at the producer, market, and governmental challenges in sustaining integrity and consumer confidence in the diamond supply chain. It will be led by industry analyst and expert Chaim Even-Zohar, and the presentation will be followed by a panel featuring wholesale traders, labs, media, trade specialists and industry leaders. 

"Since African source markets are responsible for 65% of the world's diamond production, it is understandable why the issue of synthetic diamonds is a growing area of concern for the industry as it threatens the livelihoods of millions of people, including artisanal diggers and small-scale miners, who rely on the mining of natural diamonds," says Bin Sulayem. "As one of the pillars of the KP is to deliver fair value to producers across the diamond supply chain, it is vital that the industry discusses this issue, realizes its potential impact and discusses how it can be addressed."

Continues Bin Sulayem: "Extensive research has shown us that consumers prefer natural diamonds. However, technology has allowed manufacturers to make synthetic diamonds that are indistinguishable from natural diamonds to the naked eye, and given that there is no limit on the production quota for these synthetic gems, an increasing supply could change an industry model based on scarce supply. This also harms consumers that buy diamonds as a store of value, as in the long-term, synthetic diamonds are far less valuable. As a result, it is vital we understand what place these man-made diamonds will take in the industry and how consumers will respond," added Bin Sulayem.

"Over the past decade, the KP has grown to become a pioneer in promoting important dialogue for the global diamond industry, and through this forum, we hope to take another leap forward in fostering solutions that will lead to the sustainable growth of the sector in the years to come, as well as deliver greater value to source markets in Africa."

Special Forum on Rough Diamond Valuation

The one-day ‘KP Chair Special Forum' on rough diamond valuation will take place on Sunday, November 13th, with the event expected to draw participants from 81 countries, as well as industry players from across the supply chain.

This is third forum of its kind hosted by the UAE KP Chair, in line with his focus on the diamond valuation initiative towards the beneficiation of Africa. It will be built on the discussions from the previous workshops with the intention to reach consensus around the proposed list of criteria for rough diamond valuation, an issue that has been deemed complex, but vital to address, by governments and industry players alike.

During the 2nd Forum, which took place in Antwerp in September this year, a general consensus emerged that reverse engineering could be an essential tool for proper rough diamond valuation if and when accompanied by a unanimously agreed upon methodology and nomenclature of formatted sorting of rough parcels by trained valuators. Therefore, the third forum aims at moving these negotiations forward with an aim to reach consensus on the set of generic criteria including a methodology based on reverse engineering as well as other systems and processes.

Speaking on the importance of continuing discussions, Bin Sulayem says: "Rough diamond valuation is a complex process and subject to volatility and discrepancy between the various models applied across the world. We are fortunate to have the diamond industry's best minds visiting Dubai for the Plenary Session to build upon our accomplishments from the past workshops and to move forward on the valuation discussion towards an actionable and standardized set of valuation criteria."
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