Some of the world’s largest diamond mining companies, reportedly, recently met at Rio Tinto’s headquarters in London to ruminate the formation of a new ‘diamond association’. This may sound like good news for the industry that is facing multifarious issues including dwindling rough supplies, liquidity crisis, stiff competition from other luxury goods, rise of money laundering and fraudulent practices, and a legion others.
For an industry that is going to be a spectator to a 278 million carats demand-supply gap by 2050, a focused group that will attempt to solve the plethora of problems is just what the industry needs. But the proposed ‘diamond association’ unfortunately started on a wrong note. Instead of tackling the real issues, it is baffling that the ‘diamond association’ theorizes the imaginary issue of undisclosed lab-grown diamonds mixing as the industry’s ‘Key Challenge’.
India’s two leading diamond industry associations – GJEPC (Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council) and SDA (Surat Diamond Association) have categorically said that all mixing stories were only rumors. Not just that, as confirmed by SDA, diamond mixing has never taken place. Besides, there are numerous affordable diamond detection instruments available worldwide. When it is quite clear that the stories of undisclosed mixing are nothing but work of fiction deliberately spread by miscreants in the industry, the premise on which the ‘diamond association’ is starting is wobbly and its foundation unstable.
Chronic issues like environmental concerns, failure in stopping conflict diamonds entering the pipeline, inhuman labor practices, societal damage and so on, endanger the already precarious scenario of the industry. In such times, this ‘diamond association’ is going through a befuddled illusion of problem solving when in reality it is running away from the true threats. Because of industry’s nonchalant attitude towards the legitimate problems and its loosing connect with customers and reality, even simulants are now outperforming diamonds.
The secretive meeting of the ‘diamond association’ was supposedly attended by representatives of De Beers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto, Petra Diamonds, Gem Diamonds, Lucara Diamond Corp., Dominion Diamond Corp., OAO Lukoil et al and conducted in a clandestine manner.
The initial enthusiasm and hope, of a ‘diamond association’ trying to solve genuine problems of the industry, dies down with its irrational orientation.