Traders under scanner for mixing synthetic stones with diamonds

MUMBAI:The diamond industry is keeping a keen eye out on unscrupulous small players who are mixing synthetic stones with genuine diamonds in order to make a quick buck.

sanjiv@tribunemail.com

Shiv Kumar

Tribune News Service

Mumbai, August 8

The diamond industry is keeping a keen eye out on unscrupulous small players who are mixing synthetic stones with genuine diamonds in order to make a quick buck.

According to industry sources, many small traders are quietly mixing the lab-cultured stones with natural diamonds and palming the consignment off to unsuspecting buyers. “There is a sudden increase in this malpractice because of the slump in the diamond business,” says Ashok Zaveri, a diamond jeweller from Opera House in South Central Mumbai.

Worse still, say industry veterans, the mixed consigments are finding their way to international buyers. Since the lab-cultured diamonds are much cheaper than natural stones, traders who mistakenly buy them end up with big losses.

“The illegal practice of mixing synthetic diamonds with natural diamonds is hurting the credibility of Indian exporters,” Sanjay Kothari, former chairman, Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said.

Diamond jewellers in Mumbai also warn buyers against exchanging their old diamonds with new ones under various schemes. “The buyer can get cheated if the jeweller is not honest,” says an industry veteran.

Jewellers say buyers must obtain a certificate of purity and buyback guarantee from the jeweller as a precautionary measure.

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