[Exclusive] Diamond mixing has never taken place: Surat Diamond Association

In absence of any names, dearth of any info and lack of any legal action, it is highly unlikely that diamond mixing has ever taken place, as confirmed by SDA. India’s two leading diamond industry associations – GJEPC and SDA have said that mixing stories are only rumors. BDI brings you the truth behind the farce of ‘diamond mixing’

recent news article published in an Indian media talks about instances of diamond mixing. It mentions that social media is abuzz with diamond mixing incidence that may involve few leading DTC sightholders.

The said news article also quotes two associations – Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and Surat Diamond Association (SDA) announcing that ‘stringent legal action’ will be taken against the culprits. But that leads to an interesting question – who should be punished in this case?

Beyond the mention of ‘some social media messages’ and quotes from GJEPC and SDA, there is no further information available. No names or any details of the incidents have been mentioned.

In order to find out more about such ‘omissions’ and ‘commissions’ we embarked on a series of enquiries. And what we found out was rather disturbing. It seems that the entire ‘diamond mixing’ stories are deliberate rumors spread by miscreants in the industry.

BDI reached out to Vipul Shah – Chairman, GJEPC and Dinesh Navadia – President, SDA, in hope of getting more details. We asked them several important questions, including:

  • Which companies/ industry players were involved in this mixing incidence?
  • When did this mixing incidence take place?
  • What was the volume in carats of this mixing?
  • Who found this mixing and when?

More importantly, we also asked them what legal action have they taken till date against those found in mixing diamonds in the past?

Dinesh Navadia - President, SDA, Diamond mixing  [Image Courtesy: Rough & Polished, SDA]
Dinesh Navadia – President, SDA [Image Courtesy: Rough & Polished, SDA]
We received a response from Dinesh Navadia who clarified that “No diamonds manufacturers are involved in the diamond mixing incidence as per our information. There were fake rumors in the market about companies mixing lab grown and mined diamonds.” He also mentioned “SDA is going to organise awareness programs in the diamond market to keep people from spreading such rumors.”

He further emphasized that “if any company is found guilty of such mixing..” then several actions will be taken including distributing photographs of the culprits.

On probing further, Dinesh Navadia said “If any story is published in the past of such incidence, then its not factual and was a rumor only.

Vipul Shah - Chairman, GJEPC, Diamond mixing  [Image Courtesy: CIJ International Jewellery, GJEPC]
Vipul Shah – Chairman, GJEPC [Image Courtesy: CIJ International Jewellery, GJEPC]
GJEPC also replied that “.. there were only rumours..” Vipul Shah, in another article also, is quoted having said “It is all just rumors. We have not received any official complaint”.

On one hand, GJEPC and SDA is giving a statement that they are taking ‘pro-active steps’ to ‘curb the menace’ and announcing that ‘stringent legal action’ will be taken and on the other hand, they are calling all such stories as rumors!! Against whom they intend to take legal action and distribute photos of? It all hinges on “if any company is found..”

To find that company, BDI also contacted the author of the article, in hope of getting some information but  did not receive any response.

Our curiosity level increased and we went through similar stories published last year in anticipation of gaining some concrete information there. However, all such stories only contain vague references of some ‘clients’, some ‘DTC sightholders’, ‘local traders’ from Mumbai, Surat etc. with neither a single name nor any details of the incidences.

How come no action has been taken, no legal proceedings initiated or even no names of the culprits involved in the past mixing incidences disclosed, even after more than a year has passed?!!! Perhaps because no ‘culprits’ exist and perhaps because no ‘diamond mixing’ incidence has ever taken place, as confirmed by SDA President Dinesh Navadia.

During this quest, an interesting observation was made. Almost all of the reported stories of alleged diamond mixing were published around October – January period. Why? Do the unethical traders who mix diamonds turn ethical for rest of the year!!

Despite several stories being circulated about diamond mixing in the global media, it is quite surprising that no one has asked the questions that BDI poses. In May 2012, International Gemological Laboratory (IGI), Antwerp reported a parcel of 600 ‘undisclosed synthetic’ diamonds being submitted, which were seized by Antwerp Police and later turned out to be natural diamonds.

If diamond mixing is not happening, then it leaves one with a fascinating thought – why on earth will anyone run such a rumor mongering machine and try to create a state of fear. An obvious answer to it is the fact that mined diamonds segment is feeling threatened by better value and ethical diamonds, whose popularity and acceptance is only growing by the day.

Philippe Mellier - De Beers CEO, Diamond mixing  [Image Courtesy: Business Week]
Philippe Mellier – De Beers CEO [Image Courtesy: Business Week]
Philippe Mellier – CEO, De Beers, in a recent interview, said that De Beers has “Best Practice Principles” (BPP) and if a sightholder is found selling undisclosed synthetics, it will result in an immediate cancellation of contract. “And I will do it, without hesitation”, he added “We cannot tolerate any deviation from the BPP”. Earlier and recent reports clearly mention ‘DTC sightholder’ involvement in diamond mixing. Which sightholder’s contract has De Beers terminated over diamond mixing? Either De Beers does not walk its talk (else a cancellation of a sightholder contract and probably legal proceedings too would have been reported) or the discussed media reports are delusional products of fabrication.

Till the time, any specific names and full details of the ostensible diamond mixing cases are disclosed in public domain, it only remains a work of ‘undisclosed’ fiction.

I think there was a spelling typo in the heading of a recent article, which should have correctly read as – We Take Make New Reports of Undisclosed Synthetics “Very Seriously”.

 

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