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ID 100 Will bring back the confidence
in the Diamond sector

The New Jeweller - UAE bureau spoke to Mr Tom Moses, Executive Vice-President and Chief Research and Laboratory Officer of the Gemological Institute of America [GIA] during his visit to Dubai for the launch of the ID100. In this exclusive he talks not only about the path breaking identification device for the diamond sector, but also opines on the importance of education and awareness required at the retail and consumer level to clearly differentiate Natural from Lab grown Diamonds. Excerpts:

What is the significance of your trip to Dubai this time and its importance to the Dubai Diamond sector?

The purpose of my trip to Dubai this time is to introduce the ID 100, our new testing device that discriminates between the Natural and Synthetic Diamonds. The equipment is a very robust and is an important technology for the Diamond sector. This is a thorough research oriented product and is a very essential tool in today’s gem and jewellery economic environment.

The Diamond and the Retail sector is confused when it comes to screening identification, education and awareness pertaining to identification of lab grown diamonds. Your take on this and what are the steps that you feel needs to be taken to address this issue?

Before I answer your question let me take you back to the 1950’s and give you an example that actually occurred before my time in GIA. We actually saw Synthetic Rubies being mixed along with natural ruby at that time creating significant concern in the industry. Diamond is the most important gem to most in the gem and jewellery business of today. More and more will be traded on the Internet making clear identifiction is even more important than ever. Synthetic diamonds may find its place in the industry as both natural diamond and synthetics are legitimate products . The Internet will become an important medium for education and will in the real sense help both the Natural as well as Synthetic to coexist. To couple this we have the ID 100 that will be of much use to the industry. As long as the public understands what they are buying both the public and the industry will be well served & consumer confidence will be retained

Do you plan to install the ID 100 in important association offices such as the DMCC or Dubai Gold and Jewellery group so that the members can have access to the product?

I think you may know we have already given the earlier equipment ‘ DiamondCheck’ to more than 15 bourses around the world including the DMCC. “Diamond Check” was introduced to identify natural diamonds and refer for further testing potential synthetics in 2014 I think we will do a similar thing and are sure this will be helpful to the members of the industry. We do have a good response from this part of the world and hence we have organised an official launch and an educational seminar here in Dubai. Delivery of the ID 100 will be in late October of this year.

Do you really think the ID 100 will bring the confidence back in the Diamond sector with the ID 100?

Yes I do feel the ID 100 will definitely bring back the confidence in the Diamond sector and confidence is really the key element that underpins our industry and this makes sure we can overcome the uncertainties regarding the Natural and synthetic diamonds that are evident in the industy today. So yes, I really feel that the ID 100 is certain to bring in a positive change in the Diamond sector of today.

What’s your take on M2M. Will the customer get the entire story behind the Diamond that he buys?

The M2M program captures the story of diamonds very well so that the customer gets the entire story of the Diamond that he or she buys. The intention of the M2M program is that certain concerns of the customer like “is this really ethically mined diamond”, or if they want to learn about the mining companies are addressed. Such diamond is unique & M2M will encourage retailers to highlight the journey of diamond from Mine to a piece of jewellery. Some of the customers won’t even ask these questions but they may have uncertanies when they are buyingi. I believe the M2M program will stimulate repeat purchases. As people purchase diamonds with a better understandng of the diamond story, I believe they will be even more satisfied with their purchase leading to repeat purchases. As we all know that his industry really works on trust and education and this is precisely where GIA is also is positioned in the industry, to build Trust and Educate the industy and public.

There is a dire need of educating the end consumers on the Natural vis-a-vis Synthetic diamonds. What according to you are the initiatives that need to be taken while looking into this aspect of trade?

That’s a good question. If I have to boldly say, I think it has to be the retailer as he or she is the first point of contact with the public. The reason why I say the Retailer is because if the retailer is confident, educated and can explain to the consumer properly, the customer definitely respects him or her and is equipped to make a choice. In that face to face meeting the consumer can feel the confidence and this results in an educated and a transformed buyer after his meeting the retailer. So I think the retailer has a huge responsibility in the entire process of education and awareness when it comes to the consumer. We at GIA have organised. Trade Education Seminars to create awareness amongst jewellery manufacturers & retailers about natural and synthetic diamonds.

What is the cost of the testing device, the ID 100?

The cost of the equipment, the ID 100 is 4995.00 US Dollars in the United States and while it is sold across the world there might be slight difference in the price. The upcoming shows will be offering a discount of 10% on the MRP for purchases made at the show. The ID 100 will also have a capability to expand its use through software upgrades that we will be introducing from time to time. Task is to identify natural diamonds and stimulants, but going forward the ID 100 will have additional capabilities to identify color gemstones such as Sapphire, Tanzanite in the same one or two seconds. The equipment is also capable of identifying from ½ a point to 20 to 30 carats and all this in a matter of seconds.

Tell us something about the Melee Analysis service that was introduced during the IIJS show in Mumbai?

A manufacturer, retailer or wholesaler who has large parcels of many small diamonds, there was a need for a fast and inexpensive device for identification. So with Melee Screening device we could answer this issue and a fully automate process that identifies couple of thousand stones per hour and a very accurate device that identifies simulants, treatments, CZ’s etc and lastly it also accurately measures small round diamonds. We have found this momentum picking up and a number of small and large diamond companies are using the service.

Adds Ms Nirupa Bhatt, Managing Director, GIA, India and Middle East, “There are several jewellery centres in India such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Surat, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore etc. We have free pick up services. Irrespective of where the customers buy stones, they can send all of those to the GIA office in Mumbai. We, at GIA facilitate pick up right from their office, grade it and send them back to the respective offices of the customers. Initially we had this service from BDB in Mumbai to Surat, but now we have expanded the service to 7 different jewellery hubs in the country. They just need to make a call and GIA will then act on collecting the stones, bringing the same to Mumbai office and after grading send them back to the respective offices of the customer. GIA is doing everything to ensure the sustainability and trust of the entire Diamond and Jewellery sector across the world”.