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Diamond Quality Assurance Mark Launched in Hong Kong

Scheme Aims to Combat Growth of Synthetics
Mar 9, 2015 4:57 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... The Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China (DFHK) this past week launched its Natural Diamond Quality Assurance (NDQA) Mark scheme to drive consumer confidence for buying diamonds in the city.

The federation explained that the scheme provides consumers with a quality assurance that the diamonds they buy are natural mined diamonds. The 332 merchants that are participating in the scheme so far have committed to not sell synthetic – otherwise known as lab-grown – diamonds, or any other non-natural diamonds, the federation explained. Among those participants are the major retailers Chow Tai Fook, Chow Sang Sang, Luk Fook Holdings and Tse Sui Luen Jewellery.

Lawrence Ma, the chairman of DFHK, stressed that the impact of synthetic diamonds on Hong Kong’s industry is limited since there are no retailers currently selling synthetic diamond products. However, he added that the DFHK is raising awareness to gear its members to the threat of synthetic, or lab-grown, diamonds to the natural diamond market.

“DFHK will provide support to members to raise their awareness and ability of distinguishing natural and synthetic diamonds,” Ma said. Such activities include supplying equipment identifying synthetics, hosting talks and workshops on the subject, and enhancing relations with different gemstone identification organizations, he explained.

In addition to protecting consumers against the threat of synthetic diamonds, the NDQA Mark  requires participants to comply with industry ethical standards and related laws and legislation in order to protect the consumers’ “right to know and choose,” and ultimately enhance their confidence in Hong Kong’s diamond industry, Ma explained.

He added that the DFHK has been preparing for the NDQA Mark  for more than a year, whereby participants commit to the project in three parts. These include fulfilling a pledge that they comply with the rules of DFHK’s integrity scheme by accurately representing and disclosing information on their products for sale. Participants also commit to quality grading, whereby their diamonds must pass sampling quality grading by an independent third party to ensure that their diamonds offered for sale are natural. Thirdly, participants commit to promote the meaning of “natural diamond quality assurance,” in order to spread the word about the mark, educate consumers and publicize the superior qualities, scarcity and preciousness of natural diamonds.

“By placing a rigorous assessment process and adhering to the highest ethical business standards, the mark provides quality assurance to consumers and increases their confidence and desire for purchasing natural diamonds in Hong Kong,” Ma said. “This therefore strengthens integrity as a core value of Hong Kong, and ultimately contributes to building the city’s reputation as a diamond hub of Asia and a “shopper’s paradise.”

The mark was launched during the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show that closed on Sunday, March 8.

* Pictured are some participants in the scheme, holding the Mark's signage at the launch in Hong Kong last week (Rapaport News).
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Tags: Avi Krawitz, diamonds, Hong Kong, Lawrence Ma, Rapaport
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