“Only do business with clients who have impeccable integrity,” suggests Davy Blommaert, banker

Davy Blommaert heads the Diamond Business at National Bank of Fujairah, which falls under the bank’s corporate and institutional banking division. With nearly 10 years of experience in the diamond industry, he was tasked to establish a unit within NBF...

18 march 2019

Russia’s export legislation is like a log on the road making it difficult to drive through

Eduard Utkin, General Manager of the Russian Jewellers Guild Association, which is a member of the Russian Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry, answers the questions from Rough & Polished regarding the activities of the country’s professional...

11 march 2019

Botswana mum on new demands as negotiations with De Beers draw closer

Botswana said it will begin new diamond marketing and sales negotiations with De Beers in June or July this year. Mineral resources minister Eric Molale told Rough & Polished’s Mathew Nyaungwa on the sidelines of a mining conference in Cape Town, South...

04 march 2019

DLX-jewellery will focus more on colour stone designed pieces as well as diamond jewellery sets going forward - Jack Chen, General Manager, DLX-Jewellery

Graduating in International Business from an Institute in Sydney, Australia, in 2015, Jack Chen returned to China to start managing his family-owned jewellery business. Besides holding a certificate in a practical diamond course at Gemological Institute...

25 february 2019

Ali Pastorini: “We have to change a little the way to sell the idea that buying jewelry is just for glamour”

Ali Pastorini is the co-owner of DEL LIMA JEWERLY and President of Mujeres Brillantes, an association which brings together approximately 1000 women working in the gold and diamond trading sector, mainly from Latin America, as well as from Turkey, Spain...

18 february 2019

Fake for the rich, expensive for the poor

13 august 2018

Dedicated to the Jewelry Guides issued by the US Federal Trade Commission

Being in a trend, catching the feel of time is an obvious task for any business. Defining a trend for yourself is a lot of very few. Today, the absolute leader in generating trends is, of course, Apple. This company sets trends not only and not so much as in the Hi-Tech field as in the way of life: mobile, independent of circumstances, extremely dynamic. The way of life in which material values ​​become needed just enough to provide communication and find reflection in photos and videos on the endless Internet... The way of life in which the symbols of something become almost more important than the objects they symbolize. And the less vital a particular object is to us, the greater the role played by the associated symbolism. Apple today itself has become a symbol of moving forward, into the future so tempting for the youth! Like Apple's gadgets - even if similar gadgets from Samsung are not worse and sometimes even better they surely lose to Apple in the symbolic way. No wonder one of the survey agencies found that owning an Apple gadget is the main attribute of belonging to the middle class...

It is clear that Apple, being a developer and manufacturer of electronic equipment, does not need that people use this gadgetry forever. Quite the opposite: in the opinion of this company, they should renew their equipment every year - to be at the forefront of progress!

However, long before Apple, other companies were busy forming other life values. De Beers was not the least among them. Having made an object of universal cravings and a symbol of success from a generally not the most beautiful and not the rarest gemstone, De Beers made this symbol “eternal” proclaiming the major slogan of the diamond industry, "A Diamond is Forever." Whole generations grew on this slogan and with this symbol.

It is easy to see: today De Beers with its "eternal" conservative values ​​fixed in the minds of young people involuntarily gets into confrontation with the ideology of Apple based on "here and now" and – is losing to it! You can repeat as much as you like that the trend towards "green" and "ethical" goods is very good for the global jewelry industry, but the truth is that it is just an attempt to "pull someone else's blanket on yourself."

Let's calmly understand what is happening. "Echo-friendly" diamonds or "eco-friendly" gold are a bluff by definition. Theoretically, it is impossible to extract anything from the depths of the Earth without violating its surface layer. And it is impossible to completely "ethically" extract or process anything without exploiting hired labor - this was proved long ago by Marx - otherwise the owners of businesses will be left without profit! But false, pretentious concepts of "eco-friendly" and "ethical" production due to the marketing techniques of individual companies turned to be a trend, buzz words. And if you ostensibly fail to observe this trend, you will be made guilty for all the deadly sins in the world!

I'm not against the approaches practiced by the Kimberley Process. Naturally, this organization puts a limit on the spread of world crime in diamond mining and diamond trade. But the rest is an obvious overkill, an attempt to look "holier than the Pope".

And the actual setting the status of synthetic diamonds equal to that of natural diamonds looks very much like extending the “ecological” and “ethical” concept to the jewelry field, with a reference to the fact that synthetic diamonds have the same chemical substance and the same crystal lattice as natural diamonds. Well, yes, the same. Exactly to the extent to what a beautifully executed reproductions of Leonardo da Vinci or Rembrandt may be considered as paintings having the same artistic significance as their originals.

It would seem that this is obvious nonsense: for jewelry stones, it is their natural origin, their natural attributes, which are their most important value. And in the absence of this particular value (of natural origin), all other advantages of jewelry stones become nothing more than just their practically useful properties.

It is a mystery how one could come to ignoring this fact. Although the answer, of course, begs for itself: corruption is everywhere, and the lobbying efforts of interested parties become stronger the more these interested parties invest in the production of certain goods, the promotion of which is being lobbied. At some point, there is a consensus reached between the moral negative of taking an absurd managerial decision and the positive of joy from the reward received for such actions. Of course, this is only a reflection on the topic, no more...

But here is the question: What if the interested party lobbying for "moral legalization" of synthetic diamonds is sawing off the bough on which it was so safely sitting for so many decades? Will this party be able to get into the world-wide techno-trend of "here and now" consumption? Not sure. More precisely, I'm sure of the opposite.

The new "Leonardo da Vinci" in the face of synthetic diamond has, at least for the time being, a very significant flaw - it is too expensive. Not for those, of course, who would like to buy the original. It is expensive for those who feel quite comfortable with cheap copies.

Natural diamonds have always had quite a few decent imitations ranging from jewelry glass to synthetic moissanite. True, they were not all similarly hard and due to this were unable to please their owners by their fire in jewelry as long as diamonds. But after all, the jewelry graced with them was inexpensive and usually bought on the "here and now" and not at all on the "forever" basis - to be passed from generation to generation.

The task of "brainwashing wealthy customers" and instilling in them that synthetic diamonds are the same natural diamonds, only more "ethical" and "greener" is quite achievable, but as a formed temporary trend, not having a deep factual basis. And it does not matter whether the name of the stone will be accompanied by a ‘synthetic’ annotation, or it will be banned from use (which in fact has already been done). In any case, a thinking person with a "fat purse" will eventually become aware that a synthetic stone is simply a "false natural" stone. In other words, it is a fake, not worthy of having a high price, which means that this is a thing which is not interesting in principle for a wealthy person.

But synthetic diamonds are too expensive for mass use in costume jewelry. They are unjustifiably expensive, because today they can be easily replaced by other, much cheaper materials of artificial origin. Over time, of course, synthetic diamonds will become cheaper. But in the first place, diamond imitations which are perfectly fulfilling their task of sparkling in inexpensive jewelry, will become even cheaper. And secondly, and this is of course the main thing - what kind of impact on the market of natural diamonds will be caused by such managerial decisions?

Although, perhaps, this is the intention of those authors, who put together natural and synthetic diamonds, to kill the market of natural diamonds. After all, there is a sanction war raging in the world, and half of the world’s natural diamonds are mined in Russia, abhorrent for America. But that's quite another story...

Vladimir Zboikov for Rough & Polished