Antwerp Conference To Focus on Consumer Confidence

June 4, 2004

Antwerp Conference To Focus on Consumer Confidence

The Third Antwerp Diamond Conference will take place Nov. 15 and 16 in Antwerp, Belgium, says the Diamond High Council. The conference will concentrate on boosting consumer confidence in natural diamonds following the introduction of gem-quality synthetics into the market. The conference is designed to foster discussion of a unified position for the international diamond sector.

The Diamond High Council, known as HRD, says the conference will include discussions of the technical aspects of producing and detecting such materials, the legal and ethical aspects, the policies of laboratories and professional organizations concerning synthetics and marketing natural diamonds alongside synthetics. Strategies to promote consumer confidence in natural diamonda will be discussed, as will industry ethics.

"It is our intention that at the Antwerp Diamond Conference a common and effective strategy to promote the natural diamond will be adopted," says Peter Meeus, HRD managing director. "It should be one that will receive the support of the leadership of the world-wide diamond community.

Meeus referred to the ban on the trade in synthetics declared at the Israel Diamond Exchange. "I sympathize with the intentions of this decision but I do think that a ban is an ineffective strategy in dealing with synthetics," he said. "Denying these stones access into the bourses will not stop their influx into the marketplace. Synthetics in and of themselves are not illegal products. Therefore, we have to go one step further and clearly differentiate both products, so that they each have their own identity."

The first Antwerp Diamond Conference was held in 2002 and focused on the diamond pipeline. The second conference, in 2003, concentrated on marketing and branding diamonds.

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