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Can you tell which mine your diamond came from on its papers?

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beaujolais

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Can you tell which mine your diamond came from anyway? Does it say that on any of your papers? Thanks.
 

Casecracker

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You mean they don''t just come from my jewelers drawer????


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denverappraiser

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Some mines, like Argyle and Ekati, will provide origin documentation for some of their stones but the more standard lab reports that people are familiar with don’t include it. This sort of thing costs extra and most customers are unwilling to pay the premium so, consequently, they don''t do it for most of their production. If you want a stone with a mine-to-finger paper trail it is available but it''s a bit difficult to find.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Jewelry Appraisals in Denver
 

grapegravity

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My Canadian diamond cert does not tell me which mine in Canada my diamond comes from, but it does tell me the orginal rough diamond weight....
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And I thought that was neat...
 

Nicrez

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Gubelin and now GIA offer Type IIA testing which is often an indication of Golconda stones, especially if it came from an old source or was set in an antique. For gemstones, Gubelin and AGTA often do origin for stones, but that is based on the inclusion properties within the stone and they analyze the characteristics and color of the gemstone, like a corrundum or emerald.

Diamonds are not nearly as easy. But it''s general practice that pinks and browns often come from the Argyle Mines, and Canadian rough tends to be higher color and clarities, but smaller.

Other than that The Kimberly Process is a method in the trade used to determine where the stone is at all phases. If need be, you could try to get your hands on the Kimberly certification papers, but I don''t think anyone would ever want you to know where they source, cut and distribute through how many channels before you buy a diamond. You would be surprised by how much one diamonds travels.

Why do you want to know mine? To me it''s fairly irrelevant, unless it''s Golconda, or for someone who wants to make SURE it''s conflict free (like the push for Canadian stones)...
 

diagem

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Date: 12/19/2007 12:12:30 PM
Author: Nicrez
Gubelin and now GIA offer Type IIA testing which is often an indication of Golconda stones, especially if it came from an old source or was set in an antique. For gemstones, Gubelin and AGTA often do origin for stones, but that is based on the inclusion properties within the stone and they analyze the characteristics and color of the gemstone, like a corrundum or emerald.

Gubelin and GIA are identifying "Golconda reference" or as GIA says..., "...were first identified as originating from India (particularly from the Golconda region) but have since been recovered in all major Diamond producing regions of the world."

Nicrez, are Gubelin and AGTA identifying Emeralds from (for example:) Chivor or Muzo?

Diamonds are not nearly as easy. But it''s general practice that pinks and browns often come from the Argyle Mines, and Canadian rough tends to be higher color and clarities, but smaller.

Other than that The Kimberly Process is a method in the trade used to determine where the stone is at all phases. If need be, you could try to get your hands on the Kimberly certification papers, but I don''t think anyone would ever want you to know where they source, cut and distribute through how many channels before you buy a diamond. You would be surprised by how much one diamonds travels.

Why do you want to know mine? To me it''s fairly irrelevant, unless it''s Golconda, or for someone who wants to make SURE it''s conflict free (like the push for Canadian stones)...
 

diagem

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Date: 12/19/2007 12:01:29 PM
Author: denverappraiser
Some mines, like Argyle and Ekati, will provide origin documentation for some of their stones but the more standard lab reports that people are familiar with don’t include it. This sort of thing costs extra and most customers are unwilling to pay the premium so, consequently, they don''t do it for most of their production. If you want a stone with a mine-to-finger paper trail it is available but it''s a bit difficult to find.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Jewelry Appraisals in Denver
A Diamond..., once its out of the mine..., its impossible to identify from what specific mine it was dug!!!

Experienced cutters that work with the material on a regular basis are the closest to identifying Rough Diamonds and which countries and sometimes which mines they came from. Purely based on material structure memory.
 

CaptAubrey

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Unless there is a paper trail, it is currently impossible to state with any certainty what mine a diamond came out of. There are characteristics that are more common from some mines than from others, but that''s really it. There is just not enough data to match diamonds to mines yet, and there may never be.
 

Rhino

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As an FYI the Tolkowsky and Isee2 H&A brands feature Provenance Reports as these stones are tracked from mine to finger.
 

diagem

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Date: 12/19/2007 3:33:06 PM
Author: Rhino
As an FYI the Tolkowsky and Isee2 H&A brands feature Provenance Reports as these stones are tracked from mine to finger.
Yes..., but it makes a consumer have to trust a "person" to believe this info.
There still no proof what-so-ever based on identifying the polished Diamond where and what mine it originated!!!

Any cutter/manufacturers can basically feature a provenance report..., no guarantees though!
 

Rhino

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Date: 12/19/2007 3:41:08 PM
Author: DiaGem

Date: 12/19/2007 3:33:06 PM
Author: Rhino
As an FYI the Tolkowsky and Isee2 H&A brands feature Provenance Reports as these stones are tracked from mine to finger.
Yes..., but it makes a consumer have to trust a ''person'' to believe this info.
There still no proof what-so-ever based on identifying the polished Diamond where and what mine it originated!!!

Any cutter/manufacturers can basically feature a provenance report..., no guarantees though!
I hear you. However unless me or you or the end consumer is physically there when the stone is found, follows it to the CSO in London, then the cutting facility who purchases the rough, sits and watches the cutter in whatever part of the world they are cutting the diamond from, watch it go into the paper, hand deliver it personally then nobody can say for sure is what you''re saying. Since this is physically impossible for anyone to do there is a point where some level of trust is excercised. The two companies I mention are reknown companies of integrity and are not "joe''s cutting factory". Unless proven otherwise I have no reason to doubt their integrity.
 

diagem

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Date: 12/19/2007 3:56:25 PM
Author: Rhino

Date: 12/19/2007 3:41:08 PM
Author: DiaGem


Date: 12/19/2007 3:33:06 PM
Author: Rhino
As an FYI the Tolkowsky and Isee2 H&A brands feature Provenance Reports as these stones are tracked from mine to finger.
Yes..., but it makes a consumer have to trust a ''person'' to believe this info.
There still no proof what-so-ever based on identifying the polished Diamond where and what mine it originated!!!

Any cutter/manufacturers can basically feature a provenance report..., no guarantees though!
I hear you. However unless me or you or the end consumer is physically there when the stone is found, follows it to the CSO in London, then the cutting facility who purchases the rough, sits and watches the cutter in whatever part of the world they are cutting the diamond from, watch it go into the paper, hand deliver it personally then nobody can say for sure is what you''re saying. Since this is physically impossible for anyone to do there is a point where some level of trust is excercised. The two companies I mention are reknown companies of integrity and are not ''joe''s cutting factory''. Unless proven otherwise I have no reason to doubt their integrity.
Thats exactly what I and the Capt are saying..., its impossible to identify the mines/countries based on the polished material!

I am aware of the fact that Dave L. and J.P. are trustworthy people...(as are many Joe''s cutting factories are), but I hope you understand that their production is sourced not only from the DTC.
Now I never heard any DTC boxes that came with a "MINE identification" origin!

Rhino..., I said plenty of times that this industries most important asset is its trust based relationship between its members..., but go explain that one to the consumer!!! Good Luck!
 

denverappraiser

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Date: 12/19/2007 2:00:17 PM
Author: DiaGem

Experienced cutters that work with the material on a regular basis are the closest to identifying Rough Diamonds and which countries and sometimes which mines they came from. Purely based on material structure memory.
The miner is in a much better position than the cutter to know when and where the stone was mined. This information often gets lost, sometimes because they don’t think it’s valuable and sometimes because someone, either the mining company or someone else wants to deliberately bury it but at the beginning of the process this was an easy question. "I found this one yesterday at 2:00 right over there". Demand for credible provenance continues to increase and I see no reason not to expect it to continue to do so. It IS possible and the mining companies are well aware of it, it’s purely a question of whether it’s worth the trouble.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Jewelry Appraisals in Denver
 

CaptAubrey

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Date: 12/19/2007 4:11:55 PM
Author: DiaGem
Date: 12/19/2007 3:56:25 PM

Author: Rhino

I hear you. However unless me or you or the end consumer is physically there when the stone is found, follows it to the CSO in London...

I hope you understand that their production is sourced not only from the DTC.

Now I never heard any DTC boxes that came with a ''MINE identification'' origin!

I presume these stones are NOT DTC rough, since the DTC as a matter of standard practice mixes most of their stones together in London and then sorts by various criteria that do not include country of origin. Except with respect to arrangements with a couple of countries to provide "native" rough, the DTC does not track country of origin at all.
 

diagem

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Date: 12/19/2007 4:14:05 PM
Author: denverappraiser

Date: 12/19/2007 2:00:17 PM
Author: DiaGem

Experienced cutters that work with the material on a regular basis are the closest to identifying Rough Diamonds and which countries and sometimes which mines they came from. Purely based on material structure memory.
The miner is in a much better position than the cutter to know when and where the stone was mined. This information often gets lost, sometimes because they don’t think it’s valuable and sometimes because someone, either the mining company or someone else wants to deliberately bury it but at the beginning of the process this was an easy question. ''I found this one yesterday at 2:00 right over there''. Demand for credible provenance continues to increase and I see no reason not to expect it to continue to do so. It IS possible and the mining companies are well aware of it, it’s purely a question of whether it’s worth the trouble.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Jewelry Appraisals in Denver
True..., but at the pinpoint level..., where and what mines they work!!!
Cutters can identify wider ranges of rough material..., I know quite a few cutters that can positively identify Rough from a much wider variety of mines from allover the world!!!

What you are saying: "Demand for credible provenance continues to increase..." is true..., but again...., all anyone can offer is a "Kimberly process type" of documentation that will name or ID the provenance of the Diamonds!

And we all know what that means....
 

JohnQuixote

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Date: 12/19/2007 4:14:05 PM
Author: denverappraiser

The miner is in a much better position than the cutter to know when and where the stone was mined. This information often gets lost, sometimes because they don’t think it’s valuable and sometimes because someone, either the mining company or someone else wants to deliberately bury it but at the beginning of the process this was an easy question. 'I found this one yesterday at 2:00 right over there'. Demand for credible provenance continues to increase and I see no reason not to expect it to continue to do so. It IS possible and the mining companies are well aware of it, it’s purely a question of whether it’s worth the trouble.
One would hope that it will become increasingly clear with time and recognition of the need to boost consumer confidence.

Greed is not exclusive to any one region of the world and rogue elements will trade rough of dubious origin where/when they can. The squeeze is on (bravo to the internet for helping increase transparency) and controls have become ever-tighter in North America, especially post 9/11. In October of this year the Clean Diamonds act of 2003 was strengthened further, as all importers of rough diamonds must now provide KP certification arriving with imported diamonds to the United States Census Bureau. Still, despite all efforts, the possibility of corruption in the system exists. Unless you walked the diamond yourself from mine to sorting to trading house to cutting factory to parcel buyer to retail outlet, nothing can be 100 percent certain. The diamond-buying public will be relieved to know responsible retailers take steps to assure that it's pretty close though.

More discussion - and questions for concerned consumers to ask the retailers they deal with - in this thread.
 

diagem

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My dear PS colleagues,

As long as the geographical origin of polished Diamond is not proven scientifically...

I will consider any attempt of any Company providing any type of "Mine to Finger Provenance Report" as any other legitimate marketing tool.

I hope you can agree with me
...
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beaujolais

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Because I find it all Really Fascinating .
 

diagem

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Date: 12/19/2007 4:46:46 PM
Author: JohnQuixote

Date: 12/19/2007 4:14:05 PM
Author: denverappraiser

The miner is in a much better position than the cutter to know when and where the stone was mined. This information often gets lost, sometimes because they don’t think it’s valuable and sometimes because someone, either the mining company or someone else wants to deliberately bury it but at the beginning of the process this was an easy question. ''I found this one yesterday at 2:00 right over there''. Demand for credible provenance continues to increase and I see no reason not to expect it to continue to do so. It IS possible and the mining companies are well aware of it, it’s purely a question of whether it’s worth the trouble.
One would hope that it will become increasingly clear with time and recognition of the need to boost consumer confidence.

Greed is not exclusive to any one region of the world and rogue elements will trade rough of dubious origin where/when they can. The squeeze is on (bravo to the internet for helping increase transparency) and controls have become ever-tighter in North America, especially post 9/11. In October of this year the Clean Diamonds act of 2003 was strengthened further, as all importers of rough diamonds must now provide KP certification arriving with imported diamonds to the United States Census Bureau. Still, despite all efforts, the possibility of corruption in the system exists. Unless you walked the diamond yourself from mine to sorting to trading house to cutting factory to parcel buyer to retail outlet, nothing can be 100 percent certain. The diamond-buying public will be relieved to know responsible retailers take steps to assure that it''s pretty close though.

More discussion - and questions for concerned consumers to ask the retailers they deal with - in this thread.
JohnQ,

I am happy you see eye to eye with me on this issue.
35.gif
 

denverappraiser

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You, of course, are not the one assigning the value to the history and the value of the history is the whole point.

What do you mean by ‘Kimberley Process Type’ of report? KP requires dealers to testify that a stone has been sourced from compliant providers. It is not necessary to identify the source. It is possible to document the entire chain of custody from the point of mining to the final consumer but this is not part of the KP system. Thorough documentation is not unprecedented. The fine art world has been wrestling with this sort of thing for decades as well as issues with the trade in ivory, antiquities and many other products. There is not a scientific test by looking at the finished product, it’s strictly a matter of the paper trail.

DeBeers has, so far, mostly wanted to avoid using this as a competitive issue and have deliberately discarded the data but they have competitors and they are perfectly capable of changing their ways if the consumer demand starts valuing something different. A dredge working offshore in Namibia knows where every stone came from and when it was found with close to the same accuracy that a worker in a pit in Canada knows. The management surely does collect and analyze this data if for no better reasons than that it’s a sensible business practice. They want to mine in the best places, hire the best workers, use the best techniques, etc. The data is there so of course they’ll use it.

Similarly, the cutting house is going to be aware of each and every stone they process, from whom and when they got it, what they paid for it, to whom and when they sold it, what they expected in terms of results and how it all worked out. Anything less is just bad business.

It’s all there. In most cases it’s just being abandoned because of proprietary issues. They don’t want to report on their sources because they don’t have to. This all changes with one simple variable – If documentation makes a stone more valuable. Now it’s a different issue. How much does it cost, how much more valuable are the stones and what alternatives are there for protecting their sources? We’re no longer talking about whether it’s possible, now we’re talking about whether it’s worth the trouble.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Jewelry Appraisals in Denver
 

denverappraiser

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Date: 12/19/2007 5:54:40 PM
Author: sonomacounty



Because I find it all Really Fascinating .


How much extra would you be willing to pay for a stone that came with this information? What would constitute a sufficiently reliable paper trail to be worth your money?

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Jewelry Appraisals in Denver
 

Rhino

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I don't disagree Diagem but I also hear what Neil is saying too.

I just sent off the request to some of my suppliers asking if they can provide that data if someone wanted to know. I'll be interested to hear if they have and keep record of the actual mine it was found in myself. As soon as I hear back I'll let ya know what the response is.

Also, you pose a good question Neil.

Peace,
 

beaujolais

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---

Is that a real question - or - are you saying that if it would raise the price to know, then it is not worth the effort? I believe you are saying the later.

What sets Good Old Gold appart, among other things, is that you get a ton of info about the stone you are purchasing. That works !


 

denverappraiser

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That’s very much a real question although the beneficiary isn’t really you, it’s future shoppers who may be looking for the same things and future providers who can sell it.

There ARE mine-to-finger paper trails available as Rhino points out. If customers demand it, there will be more. This is not a free service and it’s a wickedly competitive business. Everyone is looking for a edge and, for some, this might be it. For them to decide if it’s worth their trouble to do it they will need to evaluate their consumer interest. That’s you.
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It’s not a question that gets asked all that often but the whole idea is increasing in the public interest.

The quality of the paperwork question is a really pretty similar issue. John is correct that 100% is an impossible standard. It’s the same reason that the acceptable standard for rat hairs in hot dogs isn’t zero. Would a document from a company proclaiming the mine of origin, date, identity of the cutter(s), etc. be sufficient or would you want some sort of government sanctioned system? Would it matter who the company is, or for that matter, who the government is? What would it take to earn your business on this issue?

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Jewelry Appraisals in Denver
 

diagem

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Date: 12/19/2007 6:09:16 PM
Author: denverappraiser
You, of course, are not the one assigning the value to the history and the value of the history is the whole point.

Neil..., you are being toooo naive!!! Or maybe this Rough Diamond department is to far from you day to day business??

What do you mean by ‘Kimberley Process Type’ of report? KP requires dealers to testify that a stone has been sourced from compliant providers. It is not necessary to identify the source. It is possible to document the entire chain of custody from the point of mining to the final consumer but this is not part of the KP system. Thorough documentation is not unprecedented. The fine art world has been wrestling with this sort of thing for decades as well as issues with the trade in ivory, antiquities and many other products. There is not a scientific test by looking at the finished product, it’s strictly a matter of the paper trail.

What about all the infiltrated material??? Did you forget? Or is it easier to look the other way?

DeBeers has, so far, mostly wanted to avoid using this as a competitive issue and have deliberately discarded the data but they have competitors and they are perfectly capable of changing their ways if the consumer demand starts valuing something different. A dredge working offshore in Namibia knows where every stone came from and when it was found with close to the same accuracy that a worker in a pit in Canada knows. The management surely does collect and analyze this data if for no better reasons than that it’s sensible business. They want to mine in the best places, hire the best workers, use the best techniques, etc. The data is there so of course they’ll use it.

DeBeers is in my opinion the main pusher to this issue called "KP"..., after all they claim that all their products are and were conflict free!!! It was (in my opinion) part of their Brand marketing strategy, just as their next step of broadening their "ForeverMark" brand. Some even are calling it the new "ForeverMark monopoly". Read: http://www.idexonline.com/portal_FullEditorial.asp
Do you honestly think the mining business is so simple? Do you know from how many freelance diggers huge entities purchase Rough Diamonds from? You are being super naive thinking this side of the business is that organized!!
The mining business is a jungle!!! Dont just point out offshore or a worker in a Canadian pit! that''s not reality!


Similarly, the cutting house is going to be aware of each and every stone they process, from whom and when they got it, what they paid for it, to whom and when they sold it, what they expected in terms of results and how it all worked out. Anything less is just bad business.

It’s all there. In most cases it’s just being abandoned because of proprietary issues. They don’t want to report on their sources because they don’t have to. This all changes with one simple variable – If documentation makes a stone more valuable. Now it’s a different issue. How much does it cost, how much more valuable are the stones and what alternatives are there for protecting their sources? We’re no longer talking about whether it’s possible, now we’re talking about whether it’s worth the trouble.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Jewelry Appraisals in Denver
If documentation makes a stone more valuable..., its a marketing tool!!!

 

diagem

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Date: 12/19/2007 6:18:16 PM
Author: Rhino
I don''t disagree Diagem but I also hear what Neil is saying too.

I just sent off the request to some of my suppliers asking if they can provide that data if someone wanted to know. I''ll be interested to hear if they have and keep record of the actual mine it was found in myself. As soon as I hear back I''ll let ya know what the response is.

Also, you pose a good question Neil.

Peace,
As the Capt said above:

"I presume these stones are NOT DTC rough, since the DTC as a matter of standard practice mixes most of their stones together in London and then sorts by various criteria that do not include country of origin...."

Rhino..., we know that the Company that cuts and markets ISee2 are big sight-holders..., it would practically be impossible for them to guarantee a "Mine to Finger Provenance Report" on production from DTC rough unless all their ISee2 are cut from out-side Rough..., but it wouldn''t seem likely!
 

diagem

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Date: 12/19/2007 6:50:00 PM
Author: denverappraiser
You’re arguing that less than 100% of the stones could be documented. I agree.
I’m arguing that at least some can. Are you disagreeing?

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Jewelry Appraisals in Denver
Neil..., 100% can be documented..., but its plain paper!

Less than 100% is being super naive..., I would agree with you that a few drops in the bucket can be...
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Neil..., did you read the link?
 

denverappraiser

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Yes, I read it.

As far as I can tell, we’re still not talking about DeBeers, their marketing strategies, their plans for Forevermark or anything having to do with either conflict diamonds or the Kimberley Process but thanks for the interesting link.

I’m still confused on where we disagree other than that possibly that we’re simply not talking about the same thing at all. Are you saying that a negligible amount diamonds come from documentable sources or that you think the non-DeBeers sources are of no consequence? Do you think that because a stone’s history is not a gemological property that this information is not of value to consumers or that all documents are of equal value (none) because they’re made of paper?

You’re the one who’s been arguing the 100% or nothing position, not me but I suppose if you want to call it naïve that’s up to you. My point is made by your agreement to the ‘drop in the bucket’. I’ll even contend that it’s well over 1%. That would be several drops. How much more? It doesn’t matter. If customer demand supports it, I think that number could easily rise to fill whatever demand is out there. We’ve agreed that it’s both possible and that it’s desirable for at least some people. All that’s left is to work out the logistics.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

diagem

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Date: 12/20/2007 1:24:44 AM
Author: denverappraiser
Yes, I read it.

As far as I can tell, we’re still not talking about DeBeers, their marketing strategies, their plans for Forevermark or anything having to do with either conflict diamonds or the Kimberley Process but thanks for the interesting link.

I’m still confused on where we disagree other than that possibly that we’re simply not talking about the same thing at all. Are you saying that a negligible amount diamonds come from documentable sources or that you think the non-DeBeers sources are of no consequence? Do you think that because a stone’s history is not a gemological property that this information is not of value to consumers or that all documents are of equal value (none) because they’re made of paper?

Correct..., a Diamond origin is not provable!
That information can become valuable to consumers if sold to them..., again, a marketing tool!
All documents are created equal..., all trust is not created equal.
"None"...., your addition!


You’re the one who’s been arguing the 100% or nothing position, not me but I suppose if you want to call it naïve that’s up to you. My point is made by your agreement to the ‘drop in the bucket’. I’ll even contend that it’s well over 1%. That would be several drops. How much more? It doesn’t matter. If customer demand supports it, I think that number could easily rise to fill whatever demand is out there. We’ve agreed that it’s both possible and that it’s desirable for at least some people. All that’s left is to work out the logistics.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
Neil, i will repeat myself..., a few of my quotes:

--"A Diamond..., once its out of the mine..., its impossible to identify from what specific mine it was dug!!!"

--"...but it makes a consumer have to trust a "person" to believe this info.
There still no proof what-so-ever based on identifying the polished Diamond where and what mine it originated!!!

Any cutter/manufacturers can basically feature a provenance report..., no guarantees though!"

--"As long as the geographical origin of polished Diamond is not proven scientifically..., ....any type of "Mine to Finger Provenance Report" as any other legitimate marketing tool."

There is a long standing saying in this industry:
A dealer bought a Diamond for a $1000, sold it to the next dealer for $2000 and made 10% profit..., which is how this industry has conducted itself for thousands of years..., primitive! Some members of the industry didnt even know or understand basic math.

These days members of this industry are required to produce added value to their products (Diamonds), if they want to survive in this industry.

Bringing "Blood Diamonds" into the "BIG" picture was in my opinion done for the purpose of creating more marketing tools!
Big/Huge entities were behind this "brilliant" idea!!! For some reason no-one ever thought to point a finger towards other commodities like "BLOOD OIL" in Africa..., just one example out of potentially many!

This picture is much bigger..., and if you are interested to start a conspiracy type thread..., I will gladly participate..., there is tons of options out there.
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All I am saying is: Trying to get the consumer to demand (and as you say, pay a premium for) "documentation" for proof of Mine to Finger "trail'' is just one more marketing tool on the marketing shelf!











 
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