ALROSA reports its May 2021 diamond sales results

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11 june 2021

Botswana Diamonds’ Thorny River discovery advances towards resource assessment

The AIM and BSE listed diamond explorer, Botswana Diamonds says it has advanced towards resource assessment at its Thorny River diamond project, in South Africa.

11 june 2021

Chow Tai Fook’s profit up by 107% in FY2021

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group’s annual results for the fiscal year 2021 showed the company’s profit grew by 107.7 per cent to $775.83 mn. This was a considerable improvement from a loss of 36.6 per cent in FY2020.

11 june 2021

World’s first regulator-approved diamond coin launched

New diamond coin is pitching itself as an alternative commodity for investors to purchase instead of gold bullion. International Gemological Institute (IGI), which provides grading for gems and jewellery grading, has joined hand with Diamond...

11 june 2021

Namibia blocks Namdia proposal to appoint a diamond evaluator

Namibia’s mines ministry has blocked the state-owned Namib Desert Diamonds (Namdia) chief executive Kennedy Hamutenya’s proposal to appoint his sales manager to replace C-Sixty Investment as the company’s diamond valuator.

10 june 2021

Advanced Diamond Online Academy - how Branko Deljanin raises awareness among industry professionals

26 april 2021

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The intercontinental diamond educational web series, launched by BrankoGems Advanced Diamond Online Academy, premiered on April 9, 2021. A special course, created for diamond professionals, aims to raise awareness among industry players on diamonds, as well as the need to identify diamonds quickly and accurately and enhance their traceability.

Rough & Polished spoke with Branko Deljanin, President and Head Gemologist at CGL Canadian Gemlab and founder of Branko Gems to learn more about the Academy's new online initiative and how it can benefit diamond professionals.

What are the advantages of the Advanced Diamond Online Academy, given the current situation with COVID-19?

With more gemological professionals working at home and interacting more online, the Advanced Diamond Academy TM allows us to do what we prefer: offering live workshops, be they in-person or online. In the past 12 years, Branko Gems has offered over 50 workshops for 17 countries over 4 continents. More than 1,300 jewelry trade members leveraged our workshops, with our last in-person sessions from Australia, the USA, Austria, Cyprus, Germany, and UAE in 2019. Those popular seminars have moved to more “practical webinars” with live streaming, participant interaction, and video demonstrations, including diamond and gem testing with various instruments in 2020. This opened the door to the Advanced Diamond Online Academy Tc in 2021, a dynamic way of keeping international trade (lectures are given in English, French, and Russian) on-to-speed on developments in the diamond industry.

How could the seminars be useful to diamond professionals? What benefits do they provide?

Diamond professionals have seen noted benefits first stemming from our 2020 book “Laboratory-grown Diamonds,” by Dusan Simic and myself. Since then, we have offered 13 free webinars with 25 international experts on diamonds. Diamond professionals learn directly from HPHT and CVD scientists, manufacturers, lab gemologists, wholesalers, retailers, online sellers, and specialty journalists on such topics as the methods of growing diamonds, lab-grown diamond cutting, identification with standard instruments, wholesale and retail natural and lab-grown diamond comparative costs, and the future of natural and lab-grown diamonds. The Advanced Diamond Online AcademyTM goes one step further and explains a more in-depth view including the optical properties of diamonds, new forms of growing diamonds, screening/identification with advanced instruments. We are adding lectures on the provenance of colored diamonds and types of diamond treatments. The diamond trade now has complete information on all diamonds – natural, treated, and lab-grown, and could use this knowledge increased communication with their peers, staff, and clients. We explain the differences in diamonds and create confidence within the supply chain, and ultimately help the diamond trade to better compete in an ever-changing worldwide marketplace.

Why do you think customers become more and more concerned about the origin of diamonds?

Today’s customers want to know the origin of a diamond, be it natural or man-made. This means educating everyone on terms from the trade of other products (like coffee) such as “organic,” or “ethically produced,” and apply to diamonds, where or how a diamond is mined, is color is natural or treated, etc. Trade needs to examine the type and amount of energy used to grow diamonds and discuss if the term “green” is appropriate. The increased production of diamonds in the laboratory has forced the natural diamond industry to be more transparent and provide full disclosure. This includes understanding and following the U.S. FTC jewelry guidelines specific to diamond terminology while staying as transparent as possible, regardless of the country of origin.

Why most retailers point to the need to identify diamonds quickly and accurately?

Retailers are in the front line of “battle” where they need to answer customer’s diamond questions. Most jewelry retailers do not have the knowledge or proper instruments required to identify diamonds quickly and accurately. Often, they turn to “black box” referral instruments that may identify 90-95% of natural diamonds and refer the rest. Retailers could inadvertently and incorrectly identify a lab-grown diamond as natural if their staff is not trained or missing the right instruments to determine a diamond’s origin, natural or laboratory-grown. Therefore, our book Laboratory-grown Diamonds has been selling so well to this audience, it offers basic to intermediate level practices that may be performed with a microscope, portable polariscope, UV lamp, and more.

Do blockchains give a 100% guarantee that diamonds can be traced back to the mine? Does the technology exclude all possible errors?

We’re still studying blockchain technology, but the “chain of custody” appears to rely on the parties involved - from miner to cutter to wholesaler, or from lab to retailer. If any single party is providing incorrect or misleading information, all blockchain could collapse! We refer to such in a chapter from Laboratory-grown Diamonds co-authored by Dusan Simic, using his USPTO Patent and offer a fundamentally different approach by inducing small defects in a lab-grown diamond that would allow the user to identify it with a simple UV lamp whereby the diamond would be seen as pink. That way lab-grown diamonds could be tracked in a cost and time-effective manner. For natural diamonds, gemological multi-instrument systems may guarantee a diamond’s origin, but the trade needs to accept these standards and apply such across the entire diamond chain.

Will your book, Diamonds: Natural, Treated, and Laboratory-Grown sum up the information presented during the seminars, or will it provide extra details on the topics raised by the experts?

Five out of six co-authors are presenting their chapters at seminars (see details at https://www.brankogems.com/education/advanced-diamond-academy). While the UK’s Professor, Dr. Alan Collins is retired, he won’t present live, he will offer advice in The Review of Defects in Natural, Treated and Synthetic Diamonds, also in our book, and I will cover more laboratory-grown diamond producers in Europe, China, India, Israel, Russia, and the USA.

Can we say that it can serve as a stand-alone guide on diamonds or is it a backup material to the Academy’s sessions?

We believe our soon-to-be-released advance diamond educational book, “Diamonds: Natural, Treated and Laboratory-Grown” will stand on its own as the 4th edition of a pioneering educational series, to be continued in 2022 with 5th edition “100 diamonds” focusing on a multi-instrument system to test all kinds of diamonds. It will be used among universities, gemology students, gemologists, appraisers, and diamond professionals as the ultimate diamond guide, the new source of deeper diamond knowledge. All academy participants who partake in ten lectures will gain an Advanced Diamond Online Academy TM certificate and the limited-edition hardbound book, “Diamonds: Natural, Treated and Laboratory-Grown” due to be released in September, at a 25% discount. That book will serve as a reminder of the seminars detailed in the book with supporting photos and graphs from testing with spectrometers and the results on 12 portable instruments our group tested on 55 samples of natural, treated, and laboratory-grown diamonds.

For more information on the Academy and the book “Diamonds: Natural, Treated and Laboratory-Grown,” please contact Branko Deljanin at info@brankogems.com or visit www.brankogems.com

Victoria Quiri for Rough&Polished