Hard-to-detect fake diamonds found in mainland jewelry

By Wang Yizhou in Shanghai Source:Global Times Published: 2012-6-26 0:35:04

The Beijing-based National Gemstone Testing Center Monday warned that synthetic diamonds were entering the Chinese mainland market from Hong Kong, and that they were difficult to detect as fake.

The warning came after two pieces of jewelry containing synthetic diamonds were found in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, Monday. Last week, 30 pieces of jewelry made with the fake stones were also found by the center's lab in Shenzhen, the center said. 

The imitation diamonds mainly measured around 0.4 carats (0.08 grams) and were colorless and inlaid in various pieces of jewelry, the center told the Global Times.

"These gems were spotted in the samples sent to the lab by some Shenzhen-based jewelry companies, which purchased the items from an Indian company that did not label them as synthetic stones," Shen Meidong, chief engineer of the center in Beijing, told the Global Times Monday.

"Even a professional with a microscope cannot tell the difference between these man-made stones and the naturally-formed ones," asserted Shen.

Shen said that the fake stones were made using a technology called Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). "Experts can only identify them by analyzing the texture with the help of ultraviolet rays."

The synthetic diamonds were usually priced 10 percent lower than the market price for real diamonds, and they were sold as naturally occurring diamonds.

"We estimate a single loose diamond priced lower than 10,000 yuan ($1,571.54) might not be genuine," Shen said.

Shen predicted that more of these stones will be found in the country's jewelry market with the help of CVD technology.   

To cope with the situation, the center notified the Shanghai Diamond Exchange Monday afternoon, warning it to be on the alert for synthetic stones.

The center also reported the case to the Ministry of Land and Resources, which supervises the center. 

"Consumers should keep their invoice and test certificate, and get their stones retested in certified testing centers if they have any doubts about the authenticity of their jewelry," Ke Jie, director of the National Gemstone Testing Center, told the Global Times Monday.

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