Antwerp Takes Lead in Battle Against Undisclosed Synthetics
On 29 September, during a well-attended, two-hour information session organized by the Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses in collaboration with the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, the Federation informed the Bourses’ members that starting January 1, 2017, the four Antwerp Diamond Bourses will be among the first to actively enforce the guidelines defined by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses for combatting undisclosed synthetics.
During the session, AWDC CEO Ari Epstein announced that – in collaboration with the Federation – HRD Antwerp’s M-Screen, a melee-screening device, would be made available at the Antwerp bourses for members to screen their goods free of charge. In addition, HRD Antwerp and the WTOCD scientific research center announced the M-Screen +. This updated version of the compact automated melee screening device will be able to screen polished diamonds as small as 0.5 points up to 20 points, with an increased top speed of 15,000 diamonds an hour.
The mandatory guidelines include the obligation to add a clear and predefined description of goods on invoices and memo documents, as well as written declarations and disciplinary action against traders who do not implement them. These were instated in a charter set up by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.
Willy Rotti, President of the Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses: “We have always made consumer protection our highest priority. The threat of undisclosed synthetics that end up in the diamond trade is an issue we address with the utmost diligence. Product misrepresentation such as undisclosed synthetics can greatly damage our reputation as an industry towards our clients, retailers and consumers. We believe it is our responsibility as the world’s largest diamond trading hub, representing well over 1,700 diamond companies, to lead by example and send a clear signal.”
Ari Epstein, CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre; “Over the past decades, Antwerp has been a pioneer for increasing transparency, building confidence and promoting innovation in the global diamond industry. By making the M-screen available to the Antwerp diamond community, we are taking another big step forward in our commitment to a sustainable diamond industry.”
The info session also featured presentations on the technical aspects of synthetics as well as the latest developments in detection methods and equipment by HRD Antwerp experts Dr. Katrien De Corte and Ans Anthonis, GIA’s Director of Research and Development Wuyi Wang, and Jamie Clark, Commercial Director at De Beers.
All relevant documents, including ready-to-use description and declaration texts, the WFDB charter as well as one-page summaries of the presentations on the technical aspects and detection can be downloaded on the AWDC website.