Synthetic Diamonds on the market in Australia?

A synthetic diamond has been identified by the DCLA, on the heels of the recent discovery of numerous treated diamonds in Australia.

The man-made diamond, a near-colourless 0.54ct round brilliant cut diamond, was submitted to the DCLA Laboratory for authentication by an Australian diamond merchant unconfident of its origin.

With subsequent examination, the diamond was identified by the DCLA as a diamond created by a company in Canada, Advanced Optical Technologies Corporation (AOTC). Identifying features of this diamond include no fluorescence and a light blue hue, as well as a tiny dark grey inclusion with metallic lustre, pictured above at high resolution 50X magnification.

AOTC produces synthetic coloured diamonds (primarily yellows and blues) as well as colourless “white” diamonds using a high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) process. There are several other overseas companies also producing synthetic diamonds on a wide scale using this process, while others use a newer process using chemical vapour deposition (CVD) technology. To date, however, there has been no fully disclosed importer of synthetic diamonds in Australia.

In terms of identification, synthetic diamonds (also known as man-made diamonds, lab- or laboratory-created diamonds, and lab- or laboratory-grown diamonds), have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as natural diamonds do, making them impossible to identify without advanced testing.

Examination with a microscope may sometimes show indicators, or ‘clues’, that a diamond is synthetic, but these are indicators only; neither presence nor absence of these indicators is conclusive. Both natural diamonds and synthetic diamonds may show very similar characteristics, thus advanced testing is required for conclusive identification.

Some visible clues of synthetic diamonds that valuers should be aware of are those of dark grey or black inclusions with a metallic lustre, as seen in this particular HPHT-created diamond, inert fluorescence under long-wave UV light, cloud inclusions, internal or surface graining, stronger short-wave to long-wave fluorescence, phosphorescence, and colour zoning, among others. Natural diamonds will also show these characteristics however, which is why identification of a diamond’s origin requires an educated and trained gemmologist, skilled in handling the necessary equipment in a qualified laboratory.

Buyers and valuers should also be aware that synthetic diamonds created by synthetic diamond producers like AOTC are laser inscribed on the girdle for identification and disclosure purposes, ie. “AOTC CREATED” and should be accompanied by a synthetic diamond report for full and clear disclosure – however, this inscription can be removed and a diamond should always be verified.

DCLA will not issue diamond grading certificates for synthetic diamonds.
 

Blue Diamond fetches Record Price for Gem

A rare natural fancy vivid blue diamond sold for a world record price of almost US$9.5 million (AU$12.2 million) at auction in Geneva this month.

The internally flawless, cushion-shaped diamond weighing 7.03 carat was produced by Petra Diamonds’ historic Cullinan mine in South Africa, well-known for its production of blue diamonds, and for many of the most significant diamonds ever discovered. This record-breaking blue diamond was cut from a 26.58 carat rough diamond discovered in 2008. The final US$1.35 million per carat price established a new record for a fancy vivid blue diamond sold at auction, and has surpassed the world record per carat price for any gemstone sold at auction. The grading of this diamond was performed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), grading it as ‘fancy vivid blue’ in colour and ‘internally flawless’ in clarity – in terms of colour and clarity, this is the top grading that may be achieved for a blue diamond.

The diamond was purchased by a Hong Kong real estate investor, Joseph Lau Luen-Hung, said to be a collector and connoisseur. As the first owner of this diamond, he has exercised his right to name the diamond, known from now as the “Star of Josephine”

Commenting on the sale, Petra Diamonds CEO Johan Dippenaar remarked: “The price achieved at the Sotheby’s auction for this exquisite, internally flawless blue diamond is a world record by value per carat and the highest price to be achieved by a fancy vivid blue diamond, and reflects how incredibly rare and collectable such an important blue diamond is to the connoisseur. The renowned Cullinan mine continues to captivate the world with spectacular diamonds, building on its legacy as the source of some of the world’s most famous gems. This has been a very successful partnership with Sotheby’s, one of the pre-eminent names in jewellery sales, and has provided the perfect platform to garner international recognition for a gem of this calibre.”

Also commenting was David Bennett, Chairman, Europe & the Middle East, Sotheby’s International Jewellery department: “We are absolutely thrilled with the price achieved for this exceptional stone, which ranks as the highest price ever established for a fancy vivid blue diamond. It has been a real privilege to offer a diamond of this importance as the centrepiece of our sale and we have seen it capture the imagination of collectors around the world – particularly in Hong Kong, New York, London and Geneva, where we have exhibited it over the last few weeks. It has also been very exciting and rewarding to work so closely with Petra Diamonds and to follow the progress of this remarkable gem over the last few months; from its emergence in its initial rough state, through its various stages of cutting and polishing, to its auction success on the international stage this evening.”

This blue diamond is one of the rarest blue diamonds ever auctioned, and for Sotheby’s ranks among the most significant diamonds ever to be offered for sale.
 

Learn About Diamonds & Diamond Buying on Sat May 30th 9:00am

DCLA teaches about diamond grading and diamond buying at a hands-on Diamond Workshop; register now for a 2-3 hour course before buying your diamond.

DCLA diamond experts will walk participants through the steps of grading a diamond for quality, and how to buy a diamond, during a 2-3 hour in-house workshop located at the actual DCLA Laboratory.

Next workshop:

Saturday May 30 9:00am 

Call DCLA on 1300 66 3252(DCLA) to reserve your place. Spacing is very limited.

Diamond Buying workshop topics include:
•Detailed explanation and hands-on evaluation of the 4C’s of diamond grading. Participants will take part in the grading process to learn how the quality and value of a diamond are established.
•Choosing the diamond shape, size, and quality right for you
•How to shop for a diamond and questions to ask jewellers
•How to read, understand, and compare Diamond Grading Certificates when shopping
•Explanation and identification of diamond treatments, and how they affect value
•Explanation and identification of synthetic diamonds, and how they affect value

Participants will have ample opportunity to ask questions throughout the workshop.
Again, contact DCLA on 1300 66 3252(DCLA) to register and reserve your place.

Cost of workshop: $190 plus GST**
**Credited against any diamond purchased on the DCLA Diamond Exchange

Buying a Diamond? Introducing the DCLA Diamond Exchange

It is with great pleasure that the DCLA announces the launch of the DCLA Diamond Exchange, a new company and diamond trading floor that gives all diamond buyers direct access to DCLA certified and guaranteed diamonds.

The mission of the DCLA has always been to protect diamond buyers and maintain consumer confidence in diamonds. In the continuing pursuit of this mission, the DCLA has had overwhelming demand to provide the public with access to DCLA certified and guaranteed diamonds. If you cannot find a DCLA diamond at your jeweller, DCLA Diamond Exchange is happy to assist.

The DCLA Diamond Exchange is the first and only diamond exchange where consumers buy diamonds with the greatest confidence that all diamonds are guaranteed to be correctly graded, providing you with the right diamond at the right price. Every diamond listed on the DCLA Diamond Exchange is backed by the DCLA Laboratory Consumer Grading Guarantee. This guarantee assures buyers that every diamond listed on the site is independently graded and verified, and is protected by a full-replacement guarantee.

Through the DCLA Diamond Exchange, leading Australian diamond merchants list their DCLA certified diamonds directly to you on the Diamond Exchange trading floor, while DCLA diamond experts guide you through the buying process from beginning to end.

Consumers view and compare diamonds with the personal assistance of a diamond expert in a professional laboratory setting. DCLA Diamond Buying Workshops offer consumers succinct and comprehensive diamond knowledge. Select diamond advisors provide full analyses and explanation of the diamonds being viewed, for complete confidence, understanding, and peace of mind.

This means that the DCLA now provides the first ‘one-stop-shop’ for all diamond consumer needs. Consumers can depend on reliable expert advice and diamond buying information to ensure they make a smart purchase, regardless of where they decide to buy.

Buy your diamond from the diamond experts, and select a jeweller whose designs and work you like. For more information, or to find a diamond, go to the DCLA Diamond Exchange.

Why buy from the DCLA Diamond Exchange?

• DCLA are experts in diamonds and determining diamond quality, with vast knowledge and experience in diamonds.
• DCLA Diamond Exchange draws on the thousands of DCLA diamonds available right here in Australia, which guarantees you the right diamond at the right price.
• DCLA gives you all the information you need to make a smart purchase, even if you buy elsewhere.
• DCLA certifies, guarantees and cold laser inscribes every diamond for your protection.
• The DCLA Diamond Exchange will have the largest selected variety of DCLA Laboratory certified, approved, and quality guaranteed diamonds available in Australia.

THE DCLA DIAMOND EXCHANGE…
 

EVERYTHING IS CLEARER THE

CLOSER YOU GET TO THE SOURCE.

IDEX online announcement: http://www.idexonline.com/portal_FullNews.asp?TextSearch=&KeyMatch=0&id=32227

http://www.thinkingbusiness.com.au/media_releases/DCLA-Diamond-Exchange.php

Diamonds Online – Savings or Scam?

Does buying diamonds on the internet offer huge savings? Is it safe? Why does it appear so much cheaper?

The internet has become saturated with online diamond retailers promising unparalleled quality, selection and low prices. But has this been a positive development for consumers and the diamond industry in general? Opinions are clearly divided.

Whilst there are some genuine online retailers providing real value, regrettably the net has become the perfect avenue for selling the “leftovers”. What does this mean?

Through the traditional distribution channel in the trade, reputable diamond merchants and jewellers scrutinise, select and buy the diamonds they sell. This process ensures you as the ultimate buyer get a correctly graded diamond. With most internet retailers, a list of diamonds is received from overseas suppliers and listed on the site. These retailers do not sight the diamonds until you have bought and paid for them. Buying from these online retailers, you are not seeing and buying the diamond, you are relying on the information and advice provided by online-sellers commonly referred to as drop shippers, who haven’t seen the diamonds themselves much less paid for them.

While the internet has brought convenience, increased selection and greater competition, it has also provided the perfect vehicle for selling these “leftovers” – over graded and therefore over valued as well as treated diamonds, some with overseas certificates to lend credibility, that cannot be sold through the accountable traditional channels. Although these diamonds are listed for sale at seemingly fantastically low prices, generally one fact remains true: you get what you pay for. There have been many instances where consumers who have bought diamonds online come in to the lab for verification, only to find they have not received the quality represented.

Remember: Low price doesn’t necessarily mean a good deal.

Both the Government and the Industry bodies are aware of, and looking into these issues, but do not know how to, or even if it is possible to police.

Tips for Safely Buying a Diamond Online

1. Buy from an Australian-based website that has a clear money-back return policy. Buying locally, you have recourse if anything is wrong or if you are not happy with your purchase.

2. In Australia only buy a DCLA-certified diamond. DCLA is the only internationally recognised lab inAustralia, and the only lab worldwide guaranteeing that the stated quality of a DCLA certified diamond is accurate, with a third-party full-replacement Diamond Grading Guarantee. Since the grading is guaranteed, you know you’re comparing apples with apples when comparing DCLA certified diamonds to buy – you can decide on your desired quality then shop around for the best price.

Common Online Buying Issues to be Aware of

BAIT AND SWITCH
Thousands of diamonds listed, little or no diamonds physically in stock or available. We call these “ghost diamonds”. Too often when an enquiry is made, that particular diamond is not available and an alternative is offered.This is an old trick – a diamond is listed at a great price, making real jewellers look expensive, but when you want to buy it it’s not available. You will often see terms like “subject to availability” and “Your money will be refunded if we happen to miss the diamond”. “If you wish, we will find a suitable replacement.”

What should you do? Ask if the diamond is in stock and available for you to view. If not, shop elsewhere.

DROP SHIPPING
Many online sellers simply list diamonds from overseas suppliers that they have never seen before. Once you, the customer, buy and pay for the diamond, it is then imported into Australia.

What should you do? Ask. Is the diamond available to view before you buy it? If not, shop elsewhere.

EXAGGERATED GRADES
Many diamonds listed on the net are either not certified or have “in house” reports or valuations allowing grades to be exaggerated and treatments to be hidden.

What should you do? Only accept a certificate from a respected independent diamond grading lab and make sure the diamond is laser inscribed for identification. This helps ensure that you receive the diamond you bought and paid for. Only compare prices of diamonds with proper certificates. Don’t be fooled by official-looking certificates or valuations from local "gemmologists". They are probably not independent and exaggerate the grades to make the prices look good.

If you would like help finding your diamond, or have further questions, please contact us on 1300 66 3252 (DCLA) and we will be happy to assist.

Growing Incidence of Undisclosed Treated Diamonds in Australia

DCLA has seen an alarming increase in the number of treated diamonds being submitted as natural diamonds to the laboratory for certification.

It should first be said that diamond treatments are neither good, nor intrinsically bad in and of themselves. There is nothing wrong with buying a treated diamond, provided that the treatment is fully disclosed and that you pay the appropriate price for the diamond. Because of their lower cost and value, treated diamonds can allow a person to buy a diamond that appears to be of a higher quality than it truly is.

However, too often the presence of such diamond treatments is concealed. Whether this deception is by intent or negligence, such concealment is tantamount to fraud.

Not only does artificially treating a diamond significantly reduce its value, but most diamond treatments are unstable and reversible. For this reason, all internationally accepted rules for diamond grading forbid the certification of treated diamonds. An extremely disturbing discovery just recently in the DCLA Laboratory was that of a coated diamond accompanied by a certificate from a supposedly legitimate Australian ‘laboratory’.

Members of the diamond industry have a responsibility to consumers to convey accurate and transparent information, and each individual that handles a diamond as it moves down the diamond pipeline from the mines should be held accountable for making known any treatments that a diamond has undergone.

It is deceptive and unfair to fail to disclose treatment of a diamond when it has a significant effect on a diamond’s value. In its pursuit of consumer protection, DCLA is offering a ‘Diamond Amnesty’ for diamond owners Australia-wide – any diamond brought in with its matching diamond grading certificate will be verified for grading accuracy and tested to ensure that it is natural and free of treatments. This service will be provided free of charge.
 

Diamond Intelligence Briefs: http://www.diamondintelligence.com/magazine/magazine.aspx?id=7833

Next DCLA Diamond Buying Workshop Saturday 19 April

Buying a diamond? Register now for a 2-3 hour hands-on workshop covering diamonds and diamond buying.

DCLA diamond experts will walk participants through How to Buy a Diamond during a 2-3 hour in-house workshop located at the actual DCLA Laboratory.
Diamond Buying workshop topics include:

•Detailed explanation and hands-on evaluation of the 4C’s of diamond grading. Participants will take part in the grading process to learn how the quality and value of a diamond is established.

•Choosing the diamond shape, size, and quality right for you

•How to shop for a diamond and questions to ask jewellers

•How to read, understand, and compare Diamond Grading Certificates when shopping

•Explanation and identification of diamond treatments, and how they affect value

•Explanation and identification of synthetic diamonds, and how they affect value

Participants will have ample opportunity to ask questions throughout the workshop.
Spacing is limited, contact DCLA on 1300 66 3252(DCLA) to register and reserve your place.

Cost of workshop: $88 incl GST
 

DCLA identifies Treated Pink Diamond

Recently, a pink coloured diamond weighing 0.70ct was submitted to DCLA laboratory for certification and colour authentication. The colour was described as 3 PP on a diamond report issued by another Australian-based laboratory.

After routine examination however, DCLA discovered that when the diamond is viewed under high magnification with reflected diffused light, a patchy iridescent coating is visible on the surface. This coating is also easily visible on the pavilion facets of the diamond when viewed through the table. However, when the diamond is observed under magnification with regular diffused light, the pink coloration appears evenly distributed, particularly when viewed face up.

The pink colour is the result of a coating rather than from natural lattice defects in natural pink diamonds. Surface coating is the process of adding a thin layer of coloured foreign material to all or part of a gemstone’s surface, with the intent of either masking the underlying body colour or enhancing a desirable colour. Most often, this coating is applied to the pavilion and/or girdle of the diamond; the way that light refracts as it passes through a diamond creates the illusion of uniform colour distribution.

The durability of diamond coatings vary considerably, depending on materials used and methods of coating applied. Most recent advances in technology employ a very thin optical or chemical film which is more durable than older methods, but still readily worn away by heat, scratching, abrasion, polishing, and just everyday wear.

Coating is a deceptive practice; we do not know the number of coated pink diamonds which have entered the marketplace, but the DCLA has seen a number of treated stones of late. Of particular concern is when such treated diamonds are accompanied by seemingly legitimate reports or paperwork.

DCLA screens every diamond submitted to the laboratory for all known treatments, and will not issue a diamond certificate for treated or synthetic diamonds.

‘How to Buy a Diamond’ Workshop Registration Open

DCLA’s in-laboratory workshop on ‘How to Buy a Diamond’ commences
Saturday February 28th at 10:00am.

DCLA diamond experts will walk participants through How to Buy a Diamond during a 2-3 hour in-house workshop located at the actual DCLA Laboratory.

Diamond Buying workshop topics include:

•Detailed explanation and hands-on evaluation of the 4C’s of diamond grading. Participants will take part in the grading process to learn how the quality and value of a diamond is established.

•Choosing the diamond shape, size, and quality right for you

•How to shop for a diamond and questions to ask jewellers

•How to read, understand, and compare Diamond Grading Certificates when shopping

•Explanation and identification of diamond treatments, and how they affect value

•Explanation and identification of synthetic diamonds, and how they affect value

Participants will have ample opportunity to ask questions throughout the workshop.
Spacing is limited, contact DCLA on 1300 66 3252(DCLA) to register and reserve your place.

Cost of workshop: $88 incl GST
 

Special Valentine Diamond Laser Inscription

Cold Laser Inscription adds a timeless message to your diamond, as an expression of your love.

Laser inscription is the use of a very fine, precise laser beam to write a grading report number or customised personal message on the girdle (outside perimeter) of a diamond, which can be done even if the diamond is set in a ring or other piece of diamond jewellery. The laser inscription on the diamond is totally invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen with a magnifying loupe. It does not change the colour or clarity grade of a diamond and is considered permanent as it can only be removed by a professional diamond cutter. The DCLA uses the latest cold laser technology that allows excellent control during inscription without damaging the diamond (unlike a hot laser).

The inscription takes only five minutes, and the message lasts a lifetime. Both loose diamonds, and most diamonds set in diamond rings may be be laser inscribed.

Sample messages:

I LOVE YOU ALWAYS
MARRY ME
Jane & John 14/02/09

Certification of the diamond is not required for inscribing a personal message, any diamond may be inscribed. Several fonts are available, and a special Valentine offer is valid from now until the end of February.

For more information, please contact the DCLA at [email protected]