By Brecken Branstrator
The Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones (Danat) has opened to help bolster the country’s position as a center for gem expertise and research.
Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain--As part of an effort to revive the pearling industry in Bahrain, a new gemstone grading laboratory has opened in the country.

Bahrain has been known for its pearls for centuries, supplying about 80 percent of the world’s total, and making up the mainstay of its economy, until the 1930s when competition from cheaper cultured pearls from Japan effectively shut the industry down.

In 1990, the country established the Pearl & Gem Testing Laboratory within the Ministry of Commerce and Agriculture.

Now, established with the support of the government, the Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones (Danat) has been formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company. It was set up to take over, enhance and expand upon the work of the aforementioned lab, according to the Danat website.

Located in Bahrain’s World Trade Centre, Danat will serve both the local and global markets and collaborate with leading institutes and labs from around the world.

Mumtalakat tapped Kenneth Scarratt, one of the world’s foremost authorities on natural pearls and a more-than-40-year industry veteran, as its CEO.

Scarratt’s leadership and research roles in the industry have included managing director of Southeast Asia for the Gemological Institute of America; laboratory Director for the AGTA Gemological Testing Center in New York; director, laboratory services, education and research at the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences in Bangkok; and CEO and director of laboratory services at the Gemmological Association and Gem Testing Laboratory of Great Britain.

He also has published more than 100 articles and research papers, delivered lectures and trainings in different countries, worked on several high level special projects and co-authored a number of books including “The Crown Jewels” and “The Pearl and The Dragon.”

Danat’s range of services and products currently include verification and authentication reports, scientific research, analysis of pearls and gemstones and ongoing training programs in gemology.

The lab will form a board of directors to help guide its development.

As a sponsor of regional gem and jewelry show Jewellery Arabia, running from Nov. 21 to 26., Danat will have a presence at the event with a booth that will include a complimentary advice center for those selling or purchasing gem materials, displays of unusual pearls and gemstones, history perspectives, short gemological presentations, a VIP lounge and a display of Danat’s product range.

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