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AGA Las Vegas Conference 2015
May 28, 2015

Synthetic Diamonds: The Products, the Perceptions, and the Retailers

As a follow up to last year's highly successful conference, the Accredited Gemologists Association tapped gem industry expert Gary Roskin, GG, FGA, and host of the Roskin Gem News Report, who moderated this half-day program featuring some of the most important industry leaders handling synthetic gem quality diamonds. And speaking of handling – a hands-on discovery hour - provided attendees with the opportunity to handle and become familiar with gem quality synthetic diamonds.

This event featured leading innovators from the synthetic diamond industry, discussing current market trends, including the availability, size and quality of gem quality synthetic diamonds, the wholesale and retail sales trends, as well as the identification of single stones and parcels of melee. Guest participants included the following

Gary Roskin, Roskin Gem News Report
Overview of Current Market Place and Why Synthetics are Becoming a Major Product in the Industry

Dr. Thomas Hainschwang, Director of the Lichtenstein Gemological Laboratory, who provides the jewelry manufacturing trade with testing services for sorting synthetic diamonds from natural diamonds
Identifying Characteristics and Screening Techniques for Identifying Synthetic Diamonds

Eric Franklin, D.NEA Diamonds
Techniques for growing HPHT and CVD diamonds and related marketing dynamics.

Aleko Arens & Tamazi Khikhinashvili NDT Company
The Process for Growing HPHT Diamonds and the Record Setting Sizes being Produced

Other panelists included:

Dr. James Shigley, distinguished research fellow at GIA's gemological research laboratory, gave us insight into what is possible

Tom Chatham, Chatham Created Gems, delivering synthetic gem quality diamonds to the retail trade

Alex Grizenko, of Lucent Diamonds representing the field of treatments with synthetic gem quality diamonds
Growing Demand for Synthetics where Natural Diamonds are getting Harder to Source

Russ Shore, GIA's senior industry analyst, noted in 2012 that it was the year of the synthetic diamond. Well, he may have been a few years premature, but we think he is now right on the mark, as it looks like 2015 will certainly be the year as with more and more synthetic gem quality diamonds enter the jewelry industry, not just as samples, but as actual retail product lines.

So, we needed to know what the laboratories are seeing, what the manufacturing trade is delivering, and what the retail market is doing. In recent years the international jewelry trade has been assured that synthetic diamonds are detectable and that producers are following stringent disclosure policies and yet headlines reporting that undisclosed, gem quality lab grown diamonds are being encountered by major laboratories in both "fancy" colors and colorless range are becoming more frequent. We shouldn't be surprised by any of this. But we should be prepared for all of this.

That is why the AGA assembled experts that explored the detection, the market perceptions, and the pricing of synthetic diamonds from the producer to the retailer.

The conference featured presentations, a town hall style moderated discussion, and hands-on sessions. There were more than 25 synthetic diamonds ranging from 1.4 - 10 carats in size for attendees to examine.

With natural diamond supplies reportedly growing increasingly tight and synthetics producers reportedly expanding their production and markets, knowledge is key to navigating this increasingly complex diamond market.

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