September 13, 1999
British Jewelers Duped by Moissanite
Nine out of 10 jewelers featured in a London TV exposé were fooled into believing synthetic moissanite is diamond, reports Jock Ogden in the National Association of Goldsmiths e-mail newsletter.
The show "London Tonight" investigated 10 jewelers on Bond Street, Burlington Arcade and Hatton Gardens. The program aired in Great Britain Sept. 10.
The synthetic moissanite was set in a ring, which an undercover reporter and hidden camera took to the jewelers. Nine jewelers failed to identify the stone in the ring and a couple reportedly made cash offers for the ring. Only one jeweler correctly identified the stone. Synthetic moissanite can fool even experienced jewelers if it is not properly examined, says Ogden.
He says large and small jewelers have remained apathetic about keeping up-to-date despite a flood of information about the identification of moissanite in the last few years. Ogden recommends taking the following steps:
Ogden says he has met with De Beers and hopes to be able to plan a series of free seminars around the U.K. in October, possibly at National Association of Goldsmiths branches.
- Make sure your staff is aware of and looks for synthetic moissanite.
- Learn how synthetic moissanite can be identified.
- Ask for a written guarantee from diamond suppliers that they are selling natural, untreated diamonds.
- If you have doubts about a stone, have it checked by a gemologist.
- Be prepared to explain to a customer how you can differentiate between a diamond and synthetic moissanite.
- by Robert Weldon, G.G.