April 8, 1999
Law Could Force LKI Disclosure
A New York state law mandating the disclosure of diamond treatments may help determine whether a new diamond process must be disclosed. Those are the findings of Elly Rosen of Appraisal Information Services, Brooklyn, NY.
Lazare Kaplan International Inc. and subsidiary Pegasus Overseas Ltd., both of New York City, are releasing diamonds they say have undergone a secretive process that clarifies and whitens the stones but doesn't require disclosure. There has been speculation the process involves either a heating component (to aggregate free nitrogen that turns yellowish diamonds whiter) or a deep cleaning process ridding diamonds of microscopic layers of oxidation and debris.
The New York General Business Law says diamonds that have been artificially colored or tinted (by coating, irradiating, heating, nuclear bombardment or any other means) must be sold with written disclosures. (Read full text of law here.)
Therefore, if high-pressure, high-temperature treatments are used to change the color, the process must be disclosed, says Martin Haske of Adamas Gemological Laboratories, Brookline, MA, who has discussed the law with Rosen. "But if the process involves deep cleaning, then it would be akin to the normal process of boiling diamonds in acids a process that has never been disclosed and doesn't need to be."
- by Robert Weldon, G.G.