World’s top jewellery maker Pandora ditches mined diamonds

Pandora jewellery
Pandora jewellery

Pandora, the world’s biggest jeweller, is launching a collection using exclusively lab-made diamonds in the US and Canada as part of the company’s strategy to eliminate mined gems and create more affordable products with less associated emissions.

The Danish company, which plans to make its operations carbon neutral within three years, said the collection is the first one crafted with 100% recycled silver and gold.

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“This brings greenhouse gas emissions of the collection’s entry product – a silver ring with a 0.15 carat lab-created diamond ($300) – down to 2.7 kg CO2e, which is equal to the average emissions of a t-shirt,” Pandora said.

The flagship product, a one carat lab-created diamond set in a 14 carat solid gold ring and sold for about $1,950, has a footprint of 10.4kg CO2e, which is less than the average emissions of a pair of jeans.

The jeweller, best known for its charm bracelets, has committed to craft all its pieces from recycled silver and gold by 2025.

Pandora launched its first Pandora Brilliance collection using only man-made diamonds in the UK last year.

“Lab-created diamonds are just as beautiful as mined diamonds, but available to more people and with lower carbon emissions,” chief executive officer Alexander Lacik said in the statement.

World’s top jewellery maker Pandora ditches mined diamonds
The Danish company, best known for its charm bracelets, already doesn’t include mined diamonds in most of its pieces. (Image courtesy of Pandora.)
While producing diamonds is energy-intensive, Pandora said its gems would be made using only renewable energy.

Since 2011, when prices peaked thanks to China’s younger shoppers, diamonds have faltered. Lab-grown stones, initially priced confusingly close to the real thing, posed a challenge.

Top diamond makers reacted to the new kind of diamonds, widely embraced by young consumers as they look identical to mined stones, by launching a joint marketing campaign.

Under the motto “Real is Rare”, the Natural Diamond Council (formerly the Diamond Producers Association), which groups the world’s leading diamond companies, launched a series of film-like spots targeting millennials — those born between 1981 and 1996.

Failing that, they begun selling man-made diamonds themselves. Anglo American’s De Beers created the Lightbox brand to sell alternative diamonds for a fraction of the price of the mined ones.

Ethical concerns
Despite the establishment of the Kimberley Process in 2003, aimed at removing conflict diamonds from the supply chain, experts say trafficking of precious rocks is still ongoing.

Miners and world famous jewellers including Tiffany & Co, have come up with innovative ways of certifying their stones as ethically mined, mostly based in blockchain technology.

In 2020, the New York-based company began providing customers with details of newly sourced, individually registered diamonds that trace a stone’s path all the way back to the mine.

Source: Mining.com

GIA Launches Diamond Origin Service

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has begun accepting submissions for a new service providing consumers with source verification for diamonds.

Leading manufacturers sent the first polished diamonds to the GIA’s Source Verification Service in early July, the institute said Wednesday. GIA-graded diamonds with confirmed origin information will be available to consumers when the initial submissions are returned and as more manufacturers join the program, the organization explained.

An independent auditing firm will vet all cutters before they enter the program. The auditors will confirm the company has the ability to track a diamond from receipt of the rough through the entire manufacturing process. The GIA will evaluate all participating firms regularly to ensure they are continuing to adhere to the guidelines, it noted.

Initially, the GIA will accept only polished natural diamonds with verified source documentation, including Kimberley Process (KP) certificates and invoices from vetted manufacturers. It will add lab-grown diamonds to the service in the near future. Consumers can access the information through the GIA’s online Report Check service, it added.

“GIA’s new service provides diamond-source information to consumers as quickly as possible,” said its CEO, Susan Jacques. “The GIA Source Verification Service is ready to provide verified diamond-source information to address increasing consumer demand and government interest in transparency and traceability across the supply chain.”

Source: Diamonds.net

All GIA Reports to Be Digital by 2025

The new digital reports

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) plans to convert all of its paper reports to digital within the next three years, beginning with its Diamond Dossier in 2023.

The digital reports, which it will link to an app, will be more secure than their paper counterparts, the GIA said Tuesday. They will be paired with a new inscription-matching service, called GIA Match iD. This feature captures a diamond’s inscription image and links the stone to its GIA report using artificial intelligence (AI).

As each report category is introduced in digital form, the printed reports will be discontinued, the GIA told Rapaport News. However, some specialty services, such as the Monograph reports and notable letters, will continue to be available in printed versions.

“Digital reports…build on our decades of innovation and move our consumer protection mission forward,” said GIA CEO Susan Jacques. “This important transformation allows GIA to offer consumers a truly modern and engaging experience while helping our industry progress toward a more sustainable future.”

Starting in January 2023, the new Diamond Dossier service will offer a fully digital report, including the 4Cs; the app, which enables retailers and consumers to view, save and share information for their diamonds; and the Match iD instrument.

The elimination of GIA paper reports will save 20 tons of paper and 18.5 tons of plastic each year, the GIA said. It will also reduce transportation-related carbon emissions, the institute added.

Source: Diamonds.net

Record Lab-Grown Stone Turns Up at GIA

16.41ct labgrown Diamond

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) recently graded the largest known synthetic diamond to be created using chemical vapor deposition (CVD), it claimed Wednesday.

The stone, produced by Shanghai Zhengshi Technology, is a princess-cut, 16.41 carat, G colour, VVS2 clarity lab grown diamond. Spectroscopic readings the GIA performed confirmed the stone had no post growth treatments to improve the color, it noted.

“The first CVD diamond I examined in 2003 was a 0.23 carat pear shape, with clear brown colour,” said Wuyi Wang, GIA vice president of research and development. “This 16.41 carat laboratory grown diamond demonstrates the advances in CVD growth technology. This achievement has important implications for the many scientific and industrial applications for high quality laboratory grown diamonds.”

The previous record for a synthetic diamond grown using CVD was held by an emerald cut, 14.60 carat, F colour, VS2 clarity diamond, which was produced in India and graded by the International Gemological Institute (IGI). Meanwhile, the record for the largest lab grown diamond the GIA has examined was in 2019 for a cushion cut, 20.23 carat, fancy vivid yellowish orange, VS2 clarity stone made using High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT).

Source: Diamonds.net

Belgian Lab Detects Diamond with Fake Inscription

The diamond bearing the fake GIA inscription.

HRD Antwerp recently discovered a fake inscription on a polished diamond the lab had received for grading.

The 1.50-carat stone had a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) laser inscription corresponding to a natural grading report, HRD said Monday. The accompanying report listed the diamond as natural, with no color treatments. The stone was further identified as type IIa, meaning it contained virtually no elements other than carbon. However, during testing, the Antwerp lab found that the diamond had undergone High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) color treatment.

Although the diamond’s carat weight, color and cut precisely matched the GIA report, HRD noticed inconsistencies with clarity characteristics that were quite similar to those listed in the certification and could easily be mistaken during a standard loupe inspection, it explained.

“Detailed microscopic investigation by an experienced grader revealed that this was not the same diamond described in the report,” HRD said. “The clarity characteristics did not completely overlap. Since these characteristics are a unique fingerprint of the diamond, the inscription was conclusively identified as false. The diamond at hand had been intentionally inscribed with a fake laser inscription to deceive the customer.”

Correction: The story has been updated to clarify what was disclosed in the report and the findings of HRD.

Source: diamonds.net

GIA Sees Spike in Synthetics Fraud

GIA Sees Spike in Synthetics Fraud

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has seen a rise in submissions of lab-grown diamonds with counterfeit inscriptions that make the stones appear natural.

Clients using the GIA’s update or verification services are increasingly sending in goods that prove to be synthetic, the organization said Monday. These stones have falsified girdle engravings that reference a genuine natural-diamond report number, while most have almost identical measurements and weights to the natural diamonds they mimic.

In a recent case, someone submitted a 3.075-carat, H-color, VVS2-clarity, triple-Ex, lab-grown diamond to GIA Antwerp for an update. The stone carried a report for a 3.078-carat, G-color, internally flawless, triple-Ex natural diamond. The synthetic stone’s real-life dimensions were within hundredths of millimeters of the measurements in the natural-diamond report, the GIA noted.

“This unfortunate situation demonstrates why it is important, especially in any transaction where the buyer does not have a trusted relationship with the seller, to have the diamond-grading report updated before completing a purchase,” said Tom Moses, the GIA’s executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer.

The GIA blotted out the counterfeit inscription and inscribed a report number for a new certificate that it issued, adding the term “laboratory-grown” on the girdle, as is its practice.

In February, the institute reported that it had received a number of lab-grown or treated stones carrying natural reports and fake inscriptions.

Source: Diamonds.net

GIA Recalls Diamonds over Treatment Query

Color grading at the GIA Carlsbad diamond grading lab.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has asked customers to return a number of colored diamonds for reassessment, suspecting that a treatment might have gone under the radar.

The organization will reevaluate certain diamonds with “green or greenish” in the color grade, a spokesperson told Rapaport News last week. The recall applies to reports it issued between January and June 2020. The GIA declined to reveal how many stones were affected or to provide their report numbers.

“Recent research and investigation into potential treatment methods caused us to request the return of the subject diamonds for further analysis,” the spokesperson said.

The institute informed customers about the issue around six weeks ago, and is in the process of collecting and reassessing the diamonds. Some stones could get an “undetermined” ruling, while others may require further testing, the spokesperson explained. Many diamonds had already come back with their natural-color statuses confirmed, market sources said. The GIA bases its conclusions on the “state of knowledge and criteria in place at the date of examination,” it added.

Sources estimated that the number of reports under review was close to 100 and could be much higher. The GIA did not specify the nature of the possible treatment. The case is unrelated to the recent discovery of a treated fancy-color diamond on which the institute reported in the latest edition of its academic journal, Gems & Gemology.

“GIA has been investigating the cause of color in diamonds and other gem materials for nearly 70 years,” the spokesperson continued. “Among GIA’s earliest area of research was determining origin of color of green diamonds, which remains even today one of the most difficult areas of gemology. The research process is dynamic, and we recently discovered new information that may provide new insights about the origin of color of the group of diamonds that we have requested to be returned for review.”

The GIA is already dealing with a wider grading backlog following a rebound in market activity in recent months. The organization is operating with as much capacity as local Covid-19 rules allow, using weekends, second shifts and overtime, the spokesperson said.

Source: Diamonds.net

Diamonds with Fake Inscriptions Turn Up at GIA

GIA counterfeit inscription

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has recently received “a number of” lab-grown or treated stones carrying natural-diamond reports and fake inscriptions, the organization warned.

Clients submitted the stones for updated reports or verification services, but the grading documents that came with the goods did not match the stones, the GIA explained Tuesday. The weights and grading scores of the lab-grown and treated diamonds were close but not identical to the original stones that appeared on the reports, and they all featured the corresponding natural-diamond report numbers in the form of counterfeit girdle inscriptions.

In one example, a stone submitted was a 1.51212-carat, D-color, VVS2-clarity, type IIa, lab-grown diamond with a cut grade of “very good.” However, the accompanying report — for which the client was seeking an update — was for a 1.50362-carat, VVS2, E, type I natural diamond with “excellent” cut.

In line with its policy, the GIA overwrote all the fraudulent inscriptions with X’s to obscure them, it added. The organization also issued new reports with the accurate details, and engraved the correct report number onto the girdle, and, where relevant, the phrase “laboratory-grown.” In these cases, it also considers informing the client that submitted the stone, law enforcement, and the public, the GIA noted.

Last month, the institute revealed that it had spotted three synthetic moissanites that clients had submitted with forged girdle inscriptions that disguised them as natural diamonds. The cases at its Johannesburg laboratory were the first times the GIA had discovered fake inscriptions on diamond simulants.

Source: Diamonds.net

GIA Spots Rare Inscription Fraud in Simulant

GIA dossiers credit

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has uncovered three synthetic moissanites with forged inscriptions that fraudsters had used to misrepresent them as natural diamonds.

The cases at the Johannesburg laboratory marked the first times the GIA had discovered fake girdle inscriptions on diamond simulants, it said in a recent article in its academic journal, Gems & Gemology.

The lab initially received a round brilliant, 1.02-carat stone for a diamond-grading report. The report number on the girdle was for an E-color natural diamond with the same weight that was graded in 2019, but the dimensions were different because moissanite has lower specific gravity, meaning that it weighs less relative to its volume.

Standard testing showed the stone was not a diamond, while subsequent spectroscopic and gemological analysis proved it was synthetic moissanite, GIA researchers wrote in the fall 2020 edition of Gems & Gemology, which it released last week.

“The possibility exists that a consumer could purchase this simulant thinking it was a natural diamond, especially with a deliberately misleading inscription,” wrote Sicebiso Hlatshwayo, a supervisor of diamond grading at the GIA in Johannesburg, and Sally Eaton-Magaña, senior manager of diamond identification at the GIA in Carlsbad, California.

Since writing the article about the first stone, the same lab in South Africa received and identified two more synthetic moissanites with fraudulent inscriptions, the GIA added in a note.

In addition to the size discrepancy, the first stone’s clarity was equivalent to VVS2 (the GIA doesn’t usually give moissanite a grade of this type), whereas the diamond it was impersonating was VVS1. The inscription’s font was also distinctly different from the GIA’s standard one. The GIA obscured the fraudulent inscription, in line with its usual practice.

People sometimes mistake synthetic moissanite for diamond because some of their properties are similar, such as their hardness and thermal conductivity, the gemologists explained. The latter feature is often a method of distinguishing diamonds from simulant, but it can fail if the stone is moissanite.

However, the stone showed “double refraction” — a feature of moissanite, absent in diamonds, that gives it more brilliance.

Another key difference between the materials is dispersion, the GIA pointed out. Moissanite has higher dispersion, meaning light that enters the stone is refracted more. The eye, therefore, sees a more distinct range of colors, giving it more “fire” than diamonds.

Source: Diamonds.net

GIA to Cut Back Antwerp Business

GIA grading report

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) will scale back its Antwerp operations from January, but has decided not to shut the laboratory entirely.

“Today, we notified clients of the GIA laboratory in Antwerp that, as of January, the laboratory will offer consolidated services with reduced staff,” a spokesperson told Rapaport News Monday. It will continue to provide client consultations, rough-diamond analysis for the GIA Diamond Origin Report, and some follow-up services and inscriptions for D-to-Z diamonds up to 3.99 carats, he added.

In August, the GIA revealed preliminary plans to close or significantly trim its laboratory and offices in the Belgian city, citing market conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: Diamonds.net