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In 2012, More Than 600 Diamonds in a Single Parcel Submitted to IGI were Found Out to be Man-Made / Lab-Grown Stones.

We're re-reading an interesting throwback article from JCK Magazine 12' (linked here) that details how according to an IGI Trade Alert, CVD grown man-made diamonds were sent or submitted to their facilities in Antwerp and Mumbai. The person who submitted the stones had no idea that the parcel contained over 600 artificially grown diamonds. He thought that they were natural, and mentioned that he had originally paid for them under the impression that they were natural, earth-mined diamonds.

Normal gemological tools like microscopes, loupes, refractometers and the like- are not solely enough to make the separation anymore. *Gemcamp Laboratories make use of these advance spectrometry-based detectors to identify natural diamonds that possess well-documented characteristic absorption and emission patterns that allow us determine their specific type group.

Here in the Philippines, most people we've come across, still believe that the pen-type diamond testers (diamond thermal testers and moissanite testers) are enough for their protection, but the fact remains that these two instrument types CANNOT differentiate between a man-made diamond and a natural diamond. This is clear, because of the fact that both natural and man-made diamonds are made up of carbon that crystalizes in the cubic crystal lattice system. Lab grown diamonds have the same thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity as natural diamonds. From the best that we can tell, our country's view towards protection against diamond fraud is unsurprisingly behind.

Lab-grown or man-made diamonds at the wholesale level (from what we personally observed during international jewelry trade fairs) are about 40 to 60% cheaper than natural counterparts. At the retail level, most seem to sell them about 30% cheaper than naturals. This big price difference alone should be a good enough reason for society to be cautious against mismatched stones.

Pictured above is a stunning CVD Lab-grown diamond. Despite the negative attachment that circulates around undisclosed stones, the trade applauds man-made stones that are sold honestly and ethically.

Lab-grown diamonds are beautiful products in their own rights, and chemically speaking they are in fact diamonds. The problem only lies when a lab-grown stone is fraudulently sold to someone under the representation of a natural stone.

Some people even try to sell man-made stones with original reports from many gemological laboratories. They have a natural stone checked properly with a lab, and then take that report and use it for advertising a similar-looking lab-grown diamond of the same carat weight or size. While gemological laboratories can verify if a stone matches a specific report if someone comes in to check it, they have no liability or control over the external actions of potentially fraudulent individuals with regards to what they do after acquiring a report document.

Here is a link to an article about a man-made stone fraudulently sold as a natural diamond, by trying to misrepresent it with GIA report information for a different stone.

The lab-grown stone was fraudulently inscribed with a falsified laser inscription that pointed to a GIA report for another stone (a natural diamond). This practice is often called stone swapping or stone switching, wherein people try to use an original lab report to fraudulently sell an item that is not the one described on the report. GIA's laboratory obviously did not play any part in this, as they cannot possibly monitor what each and every client does with the reports they have commissioned. We believe that they do however (like most laboratories) encourage verification of reports with their laboratory first before trusting a potential seller. Protect yourself from stone-swapping scandals by verifying your item with the corresponding laboratory listed on the report first. Make sure the report isn't fake or invalidated, and then lastly be sure that the item or stone on your report is exactly the one you're being sold by asking the issuing laboratory.
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