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Synthetic diamonds pose threat

Publishing Date : 12 March, 2018


Although many reports show that there is a likelihood of synthetic diamonds doing more rounds and cordially being owned by most people, the trade policy advisor from the Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry, Dr Joel Sentsho has emphasized that  “real” will always be compared to synthetic.

Sentsho noted this at the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) Listings Conference in Gaborone on Thursday after a concerned individual asked about the threat posed by the growing industry of synthetics. The Trade Policy advisor highlighted that the synthetic rocks have been making rounds and they have realized that even if this is the case, there continues to be demand for Botswana Diamonds in other markets.

However Synthetic Diamonds have done noticeable damage - in the past Bruce Cleaver, the De Beer’s group’s Executive Head of Strategy and Corporate Affairs, spoke to reporters in 2017 showing concern in relation to how Manufacturers are capable of producing diamonds and duping the profits.

A marketing campaign titled ‘Real is Rare” shows that although there is presence for the real diamonds the synthetic ones continue to make an impact on the mining industry. The report also shows that there is great concern in the diamond industry in regards to the rapidly growing man-made diamond as it is a major disruption to their business. The new marketing efforts which conducted a study show that at least 9 out of 10 women prefer real diamonds.

Even though the research shows preference for real diamonds it does not go any further to investigate whether these women know how to differentiate these diamonds. It states that the researchers did not ask whether cultivated diamonds, which are “real” diamonds in their chemical and physical composition and indistinguishable from the mined version only with the aid of laboratory equipment, not the naked eye or a jeweler’s loupe, are an acceptable substitute for the mined version, especially considering man-made diamonds cost less.

According to the Research and Markets the global synthetic diamond market was valued at USD 16.83 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 23.8 billion by 2021, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.14 percent during the forecast period, 2016-2021.
The synthetic diamond market has lost being its driver when compared to the normal diamond and the report shows that some natural diamond producers are gradually shifting to synthetic diamonds. “The other driving factor is the increase in its demand in various end-user applications, since it can be modified as per the requirements of end-user industries.”

Executive Chairman of South Africa’s De Beers Consolidated Mines, Barend Peterson has in 2017 told reporters that they are calling for concerted efforts to prevent synthetic diamonds from infiltrating the market for genuine diamonds if the diamond industry is to be sustained.
Peterson said players in the industry should come together and find a common goal to ensure the sustainability of the diamond industry.

Diamond Producers Association’s Jean-Marc Leiberherrr said there is need to be consistent in the diamond industry and be able to win the hearts of consumers, especially new ones. Even though there has been many threats surfacing in regards to the mining industry and synthetic diamonds, Sentsho maintains that the diamond industry being the main revenue contributor in Botswana remains strong.



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