Will you be able to make diamonds at home?

By Rajive Singh

Synthetics @ Dubai Diamond Conference  opens tomorrow

DUBAI 15 October 2017: The Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), will hold discussions on synthetic diamonds on Day 2 of the Dubai Diamond Conference in Dubai, on the theme of ‘Lab-grown diamonds and their disclosure: Is there a problem?’.

The panel will be led by moderators Peter Meeus, Chairman of the DDE, and Tim Dabson, a former De Beers executive, who will ask a wide range of leading industry figures whether the current detection equipment available is sufficient to uncover synthetic diamonds mixed with natural stones, if sanctions are strong enough to deter such activity, and whether the diamond trade can get ahead of the curve and not appear to always be simply responding to incidents.

The panellists include Kevin Ryan, CEO, Damas Jewellery Group; Ernie Blom, President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses; Tom Moses, Executive Vice President and Chief Research and Laboratory Officer of the Gemological Institute of America; Praveenshankar Pandya, Chairman of India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council; Ayesha Al Mazrooei, a gemstones expert from the Dubai Central Laboratory, and Debbie Azar, Co-Founder of Gemological Science International.

Blom said the WFDB has no issue with synthetic diamonds as a market category, but only with the existence of undisclosed mixing of lab-grown stones into parcels by unethical traders and companies. “The WFDB has 30 affiliated bourses worldwide and around 30,000 members, therefore it is critical that we are able to trade with reassurance. We have no tolerance whatsoever for unethical trading and illicit activity and we would always want to see such people prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I believe that the sanction of being able to eject bourse members is a very real and powerful one.”

“Undisclosed lab grown diamonds are a major threat to our industry. Grading laboratories are essential to ensure the natural pipeline is free of undisclosed lab grown diamonds and consumers worldwide can be confident of their purchases,” concluded Azhar.

The conference takes place in Dubai’s Almas Tower, the home of the Dubai Diamond Exchange, on October 16-17, and will bring together international leaders of the diamond industry ranging from African Ministers to traders, financiers and world-renowned jewellers. It will enable companies and governments in producing and consuming countries to build relationships and highlight the pivotal role that Dubai plays in the global diamond trade.

The introduction of VAT: what we know so far

The Dubai Diamond Exchange will also hold in-depth discussion on “The introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on wholesale diamond trading” on Day 2 of the Dubai Diamond Conference, 17 October. DDE Chairman Peter Meeus and former De Beers executive Tim Dabson will moderate the discussion on a subject that has caused widespread industry debate in India and the UAE.

Leading experts from the diamond and jewellery sectors in India and Dubai will provide insights for the benefit of attendees at the third edition of the biennial Conference. The panel will look at the reasons for the tax being imposed, and if it is aimed at reforming the diamond and jewellery trade in India in a similar vein to the demonetisation programme that was introduced last year. Panellists will also be asked if the Indian government has an overall master-plan for industry reform, and what are the likely effects going forward of the tax for the UAE and India?

The panellists will be Rajesh Mehta, Chairman, Super Gems Group; Tawhid Abdullah, Chairman, Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group; Karim Merchant, CEO and Managing Director, Pure Gold Jewellers; Praveen Shankar Pandya, Chairman of India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC); Alexander Pshenichnikov, Head of Corporate Governance in Precious Metals and Precious Stones, Ministry of Finance of Russia; Thomas Scaria, Head of Corporate Finance, Joyalukkas Group; and Rihen Mehta, Chairman, 7Cs Group.

As of 1 July this year, shoppers in India have been paying 3 per cent GST which was imposed in a bid to make tax on the gold simpler, but it means that, for the time being, gold jewellery is less expensive in Dubai. The Indian gems and jewellery industry was originally unhappy with the GST rate, but relieved that it was not higher. GCC countries have agreed to impose 5 percent VAT on non-essential luxury goods from January 2018.

To further support the agenda, DMCC also published its latest report on ‘New consumption taxes in UAE and India – How will they affect the economic landscape?’, as part of its Connected Thinking thought leadership programme. What will be the impact for consumers, businesses and trade when UAE implements VAT at 5% on 1 January 2018? The introduction of a goods and services tax (GST) in India on 1 July 2017 prompted similar questions. Will these taxes mean that consumption will take a big hit?