National Jeweler Network

Grading

EGL Asia latest to offer lab-grown certs

August 20, 2013

Hong Kong--Grading laboratory EGL Asia now is issuing reports for lab-grown diamonds, citing an increasing demand for synthetics in the Asian market.

The new reports, available in both full and miniature sizes, have a yellow banner at the top and are marked “Lab Grown Diamond Certificate.” The Hong Kong-based lab said yellow has become the international standard for synthetic diamond grading reports.

Like a report for natural diamonds, the lab-grown certificates record the diamond’s cut, color, clarity and carat weight as well as its measurements and proportions, finish, symmetry, cut grade and fluorescence.

EGL Asia CEO Joseph Kuzi said the lab already has been issuing lab-grown diamond certificates for an industry supplier of synthetics, noting that lab-grown diamonds are “regularly sold” in Asian markets. The lab declined to reveal the customer’s name.

In addition, Chow Tai Fook, the world’s largest jewelry retailer, has been using the lab for some time to ensure its melee diamonds are natural and not synthetic.

“With these certs, we are not only responding to market demand, but also helping to assure that consumer confidence in jewelry, especially in the Asian luxury product market, which … is still young and needs all the help it can get in consumer confidence building in the diamond, gem and jewelry market segment,” Kuzi said.

In late July, Belgium-based grading lab HRD Antwerp announced plans to begin offering a grading certificate for synthetics in September.

More companies billing themselves as diamond growers have been popping up in the industry as of late, as have more reports of players in the diamond pipeline trying to pass off lab-grown stones as pricier natural diamonds.

Last week, New York lab Analytical Gemology & Jewelery (AG&J)reported that a customer of theirs submitted a parcel of 18 small brown diamonds he had purchased as natural only for the lab to discover that 72 percent of  the stones were synthetic.