In this digital age, information is readily available which allows many people to become better educated about diamonds and versed in words like sustainable and ethically sourced.
It’s not surprising then, that a recent study shows that more diamond owners want to know the origins of their diamonds, including where they were mined and how they were sourced. Let’s look at the results, courtesy of nationaljeweler.com.
GfK (Growth from Knowledge), a market research agency, interviewed 4,000 people in China and the United States. According to the study, 71 percent of respondents in China and 63 percent of respondents in the U.S. responded that they are interested in knowing the origins of their diamonds, including approximately when, where, who, and in what way they were extracted.
The results also show that modern consumers also want to know if their diamond was responsibly sourced and if it is eco-friendly. They would also like to know the place and time when the diamond was mined, how old it is and where and how it was cut. This is not surprising with the rise in awareness of “blood diamonds,” especially of concern to millennials, and the lackluster diamond sales to this age group show they are serious about this issue.
Obtaining Information on Diamonds
So, how does one obtain information on the origin of their diamond? According to the betterdiamondinitiative.org, tracking a diamond’s origin is not easy. Diamonds can change hands dozens of times and the journey can be long from the initial mining company to various sorting facilities, cutters, gemological laboratories, wholesalers, all the way to the jewelry retailer.
Also, the process of cutting, which literally cuts and polishes a diamonds rough crystal (think of its skin), further removes any indication of its geographic origins. There’s no data to even link rough or polished diamonds from any specific source based on characteristics.
On an individual basis, diamonds are as unique as your fingerprint. Each has its own combination of unique characteristics, above and beyond the commonly recognized 4 Cs, such as internal and external characteristics, which include inclusions, trace elements, and even blemishes.
Unfortunately, none of the above can tell us where a specific diamond came from. Now, state-of-the-art gemological laboratories are using advanced identification techniques, that show promise. Earlier this year, GIA introduced the GIA Diamond Origin Report service which can confirm the country of origin of polished diamonds. The new report includes the country of origin, a full 4Cs quality analysis of each diamond and a report number inscription. For more information, visit GIA.edu.
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