What is a Diamond Scam

I am one of the administrators of the ‘Scamologist’ Facebook page, which currently has over 15,000 + members and thousands of posts each month. People speak of all the possible scams related to precious stones (diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds and more). My good friend Federico Barlocher, the manager of the blog, is a real authority in precious stones. Scams in the diamond industry are less widespread since the GIA came into the picture. Don’t get me wrong, they exist, but the GIA has a firm grip on their certifications. For example, they are extremely wary of manmade stones and heated or treated stones verse the natural diamonds. 

Federico Barlocher

Federico Barlocher mining rubies

I have written my views quite clearly on the subject of man-made stones before. See my articles on Pure Hypocrisy and The Blood Diamond Game, which comment on Leonardo DiCaprio and his synthetic diamond startup, The Diamond Foundry.

Dr. Cavalieri, the President of the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), criticized the comments of Hollywood actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, the most famous of the investors in the synthetic diamond industry start-up company, the Diamond Foundry. Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri, President of the World Jewelry Confederation (CIBJO) and among the most prominent leaders in the international jewelry industry today, also shared his view of their advertisements. He said the message of the Hollywood actor shown on the site of the Diamond Foundry synthetic stones producer, damages the livelihood of people in Africa and other countries where the diamond sector is important. 

 He made the comments during the 15th annual meeting of the Paris Gemological Association.

The message on its website from DiCaprio states that, by buying a man-made diamond, one will be "reducing the human and environmental toll of the diamond industry by sustainability culturing diamonds without the destructive use of mining." "Now, in and of itself, that statement by Mr. DiCaprio about the human toll of diamond mining is problematic," Dr Cavalieri said. "After all, if the only way we can protect people in Africa and elsewhere from the consequences of mining is by cutting them out of the diamond production business entirely, it is indeed a sad state of affairs."

The story of man-made diamonds is slightly different from the promise of Brilliant Earth, which was badly torn in pieces over the Internet.

Once this video was published, Brilliant Earth began trying to fight the 'scam' label that they were given. They promoted a Statement of Sourcing in response to defend themselves but I am not so sure it is going to work. Leibish & Co.’s policy was always to under promise and over deliver. My concern for them is that if they start promising heaven and earth, there is only one direction for them to go.

Tiffany & Co. is also trying to brand itself as an environmentalist. It is a bit less dangerous than Brilliant Earth, but still quite a campaign. They recently published an open letter to President Trump on their Facebook page:

The stand against the President is populist and silly. The political dislike of President Trump will not bring new clients but scare away many old ones. Tiffany already tried once to revolt against President Trump, stating that the increased security for President-elect Trump is hurting sales.

The way I see it, food manufacturers have learned the lesson quite well. Many products these days have a warning label that reads 'may contain nuts.' The idea is to avoid the unfortunate circumstance that without any reason a nut found its way into the ingredients of the product.

I am allergic to Gluten. Naturally, I do my best to stay away from any products that might have it. Similarly, I am also allergic to merchants with very heavy promises, whether it be on the origin, the value or the expected price increase. One of our sages, Maimonides, says: Do not consider it proof just because it is written in a books, for a liar who will deceive with his tongue will not hesitate to do the same with his pen.   

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