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Nov. 2004

New York is still the center of the universe for the diamond world, as we can see from the many international events that took place here recently, including the World Diamond Congress, the Couture Diamond Leadership Conference and the recent JCK diamond show.

And why not? The United States is the world’s largest market, and New York is where diamonds enter into the United States. Which is why just about every diamond company has an office here (except De Beers)

The Diamond Registry recently attended several sessions of the World Diamond Congress. Here is a rundown of what was discussed:

Consumer confidence issues – Much of the discussion was due to the twin issues of HPHT and synthetic diamonds, and how they might impact consumer confidence in the diamond industry.

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses , one of two groups meeting at the Congress, voted to “cooperate with other associations or companies … to formula a common standard for disclosures and nomenclature for synthetic diamonds.”

The WFDB called on all labs to avoid issuing certificates for synthetic diamonds.

“This should be clear and unequivocal so that the consumers are fully aware of, and confident in, the nature of the product they are purchasing,” it added.

The WFDB also called on “trade laboratories to introduce a format for such certificates wherein the fact that the diamond is HPHT treated shall be unambiguous and clearly evident at first glance” — stated with the color grade.

A trademark – In part to deal with some of these issues, the World Federation General Assembly also agreed to develop a WFDB logo, which could be used by the more than 10,000 diamantaires that are members of the WFDB-members bourses, and will attest to their commitment to the high ethical standards and rules of conduct that are required by the federation. The WFDB will act to promote recognition of this trademark.

“Supplier of Choice” – The WFDB also discussed its role in protecting smaller and medium sized diamond companies in the wake of the DTC’s Supplier of Choice. WFDB president Shmuel Schnitzer noted that in 2003 the DTC exceeded its commitment to supply up to $500 million per year to the secondary rough market through its Diamdel rough dealership. The WFDB will continue to monitor the situation.

New Bourses: The Congress also admitted into the Federation the Shanghai exchange, the first bourse in China, and the Dubai Diamond Exchange, the first bourse in the Arab world.

A trade show: The WFDB also resolved to conduct talks with the JCK group to “organize a trade show for diamonds and gemstones.”

WFDB Elections: Shmuel Schnitzer, president of the World Federation and the Israeli bourse was unanimously elected for another two-year term in office, after the two other candidates, Derek Parsons and Jacob Banda, withdrew. Anoop Metha, president of India’s bourse, joined the WFDB executive committee.

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