The International Gemological Institute (IGI) has recently revealed a significant case of diamond fraud. A 6.01 carat pear-cut diamond, initially believed to be natural due to its inscription, was identified as a lab-grown stone.
This discovery highlights a growing concern in the jewellery industry regarding the differentiation and accurate representation of lab-grown and natural diamonds.
The Discovery Process
IGI’s analysis unveiled that the gemstone, inscribed with a grading report number matching a natural diamond, was in fact lab-created.
The examination involved advanced techniques like photoluminescence spectroscopy, which exposed Silicone Vacancy (SiV) defects indicative of the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process used in its creation.
Microscopy further confirmed this by identifying discrepancies in inclusions compared to the reported natural diamond.
CEO Tehmasp Printer’s Statement
Tehmasp Printer, CEO of IGI, emphasized the industry’s need for vigilance, stating, “Everyone in our industry must be vigilant. IGI pioneered the grading of lab grown diamonds nearly two decades ago for the purpose of clear separation from natural stones. As attempted fraud increases, the need for ongoing verification is a necessary step to protect consumers from purchasing misrepresented gems and jewelry.”
Implications for the Jewellery Industry
This incident serves as a crucial reminder for jewellers regarding the importance of verification and due diligence. The ability to distinguish between natural and lab-grown diamonds is not only a matter of consumer trust but also impacts the valuation and reputation of businesses.
The Jewellery industry must stay abreast of technological advancements in both diamond creation and verification methods to maintain integrity and consumer confidence.
Measures Taken by IGI
Following the detection of the fraudulent inscription, IGI issued an industry alert and added a laser-inscription with the ‘LG’ prefix to the diamond to denote its lab-grown status.
IGI also provided a written statement to the client involved, ensuring transparency and enabling them to take appropriate action. This proactive approach by IGI underlines the necessity for continuous scrutiny and updated grading reports in the trade.
The alert was widely circulated by prominent trade media platforms, reflecting the industry’s commitment to combating fraud. The detection of such misrepresented diamonds underscores the ongoing challenge faced by the jewellery sector in differentiating between natural and lab-grown stones, a task that is becoming increasingly complex with advancements in diamond production technology.
The jewellery industry must remain vigilant in the face of such deceptive practices. Ongoing education, investment in state-of-the-art testing equipment, and adherence to strict grading protocols are essential to uphold the industry’s integrity.
This incident not only reinforces the need for continuous innovation in detection methods but also highlights the responsibility of jewellers to ensure the authenticity and accurate representation of their products.