Gaborone: Debswana, which is a joint venture between the diamond giant De Beers and the Government of Botswana, said it is not worried about the growth of lab-developed diamonds, also referred to as synthetics.
Company managing director Balisi Bonyongo told a resource conference in Gaborone that although it was normal for any business to get worried about emetrging substitution of its goods and services, they were not losing sleep over synthetics.
“Synthetics will not disturb what we are doing,” he gloated in front of hundreds of delegates attending the two-day event. We [together with our partners De Beers] are confident that we will keep synthetics at bay.”
He also claimed that women were more into natural diamonds than some “stuff from the laboratory”. Bonyongo said De Beers had developed mechanism to detect and separate synthetics from the natural stones.
Several synthetic stones had been marketed as natural in the past few years. However, the incident that set several tongues wagging took place in May 2012, when the International Gemological Institute (IGI) received 1,000 stones at its labs in Antwerp and Mumbai to be certified as natural diamonds. Of these stones, only 400 were natural diamonds, while the rest turned out to be synthetics.