The Grib Diamond Mine: Geology, Ecology and Industrial Safety

Gennady Piven, First Deputy General Manager of AGD Diamonds JSC, talks about his work at the diamond fields in Yakutia and in the Arkhangelsk Province.

10 december 2018

I have a dream to see India become a world leader in high-end jewellery manufacturing - Sanjay Kothari

An industry leader who needs no introduction to the gem and jewellery industry is Sanjay Kothari…the former chairman of the GJEPC of India has held various positions in the Council including being Convener-Exhibitions for many years before becoming Convener-Promotions...

03 december 2018

Style always reflects culture

Reena Ahluwalia is a multifaceted artist …an award-winning jewelry designer, diamond painter, professor, speaker and a community builder and more. Recognized as one of the Top Masters of Jewelry Design and art in Canada, she has been creating jewelry...

26 november 2018

Botswana Diamonds’ Campbell on Alrosa exit: no exploration JV lasts forever

Botswana Diamonds is currently in talks with a major diamond producer interested in taking over a stake in Sunland Minerals previously owned by Alrosa. The Sunland joint venture was established in 2014 to test existing Alrosa exploration technology on...

19 november 2018

If real gems are replaced by artificial stones, it is not the difference in value that sellers may cheat you out, but the very idea that you are to obtain along with a jewelry piece made from a genuine stone

Elena Titova is the Director of the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum. The museum, which she heads, was founded fairly recently (less than 40 years ago), but it is one of the most popular and stylish museums of Moscow, famous, among other things...

12 november 2018

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