Andrey Zharkov, president of Russian diamond mining company Alrosa, has warned that the diamond industry is suffering from reputation risks due to synthetic stones.
Speaking at the World Diamond Council (WDC) in Moscow on Tuesday, October 13, Zharkov said that the industry should be concerned by “growing occasions” on the market when natural diamonds are mixed with synthetic diamonds, or when “stones are worked on for the purpose of their improvement.”
Under a new Russian law “stones of synthetic origin, even having characteristics of natural stones, are not considered to be precious ones,” he said. “Therefore, the law determines that synthetic stones cannot be associated with precious stones.”
He said that Alrosa is conducting research into developing faster and more effective synthetic diamond detection devices.
The WDC will play a more active role in defending and supporting the “favourable reputation and positive image of the diamond industry”, he said.
“It is important to educate our consumer. It is important to form [an] understanding how meaningful contribution of our industry into [the] economy of some countries is, in how many technologies and accompanying specialised industries it is participating, how it stimulates scientific developments, new segments and niche markets [and how it] provides employment for the population in the regions of diamond production,” he said.
Zharkov added the industry is “very unique”, he said diamonds are not just a merchandise but an “emotional symbol of love, success and prosperity, wealth and power”, which he said is an important engine to drive demand.
“Investing big amounts of money into luxuries, we all want to be sure that no one’s life and well-being was damaged, and our conscience is clear
“There is no other market in the world, where moral, ethical and reputational aspects would have such a decisive role in [the] forming of demand,” he added.