The recent unveiling of the first synthetic screening device for set jewellery, SYNTHdetect, by the International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), a De Beers Group company, will boost consumer confidence, according to Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB).
Synthetic diamonds, also known as man-made diamonds, are diamonds produced in an artificial process, as opposed to natural diamonds, which are created by geological processes.
DTCB corporate communications and CSI manager, Kago Mmopi told BusinessWeek that the launch of the screening device is a positive development in the diamond industry.
DTCB is a diamond sorting and valuing company, which engages in the sorting and valuation of rough diamonds derived from mines, and sale and marketing of aggregated diamonds to cutting and polishing companies.
“This will boost consumer confidence which is what really sells the diamond,” Mmopi said.
He noted that there have been increased fears by the consumers of purchasing synthetic diamonds for the price of a real diamond, unwittingly, due to the lack of product disclosure.
Without proper disclosure, Mmopi said it would be harder to differentiate the natural from synthetic.
There has been much concern about synthetic diamonds threatening the diamond industry, with diamond producers worrying that margins from real diamonds could be eaten into, and that real diamonds may lose their luxury feel
According to De Beers, SYNTHdetect is the only synthetic screening device that has been designed specifically for jewellery retailers, allowing them to quickly and easily ensure the authenticity of the diamonds they purchase.
As a result of its unique approach of detecting whether diamonds are natural, rather than seeking to identify synthetic characteristics, the device also has the industry’s lowest referral rate at around 0.05%.
De Beers, which controls 40% of the global diamond trade, said the $16,250 instrument uses IIDGR’s patented luminescence technology to rapidly and simultaneously screen stones set in a wide range of jewellery pieces, without the need for a probe. Meanwhile, London-based global market intelligence publisher, Euromonitor International, said the concern that synthetic diamonds priced lower could cause the average unacquainted consumer to price-adjust.
“This would thereby lower price expectations across diamonds, regardless whether real or man-made,” the publisher said. Other diamond sellers believe that as long as the synthetic diamond is disclosed as man-made all will be fine in the industry.