A Day of Atonement for the Diamond Industry?October 13, 16
As I am sure most readers will be aware, Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, took place on Wednesday (yesterday).
The main elements are, of course, atonement and repentance. A 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer sees many Jews observe the holy day in synagogue services or quietly at home.
Jewish tradition relates that the Almighty inscribes each person's fate for the coming year on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, in the Book of Life, and waits until Yom Kippur to deliver the final verdict or 'signature'. So, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Jews pray for forgiveness for wrongs done against the Almighty and against people during the year past and wish each other a 'good final signature'.
It occurred to me during Yom Kippur that some members of the diamond industry should perhaps also engage in a little soul-searching. The vast majority of members of our trade, of course, carry out their business in a perfectly respectable and proper way. They may have other things they should atone for, but that's a different issue.
It is, arguably, the people who deal in synthetic stones who should be atoning the most. More specifically, those who illegally mix undisclosed synthetics with natural mined diamonds in order to increase their profits. And those who market synthetic stones as environmentally friendly while claiming that natural mined stones damage the environment should also face up to the fact that, let us say, 'being economical with the truth' is far more unethical than the operations of diamond companies who they are so happy to berate as supposedly unscrupulous.
Just think of the extra pollution being caused by power plants creating the enormous amounts of power needed by synthetic diamond manufacturers to bring about the conditions of intense heat and pressure vital to making synthetic stones. Is that a sustainable way of operating?
And individuals and companies engaged in finding ways of improving the appearance of diamonds in order to attain better grading reports should also find some time to consider their actions. Everyone in the business, as with any other trade, is in it to make a profit. Without a profit motive, there's no incentive to be in any kind of business.
But it cannot be profit at any price. There has to be a level playing field. If we don't all play according to commonly accepted rules, then we will simply destroy our industry. Consumers will see that tricksters are fooling them, as well as other members of the diamond and jewelry trade. At a time when consumer confidence and boosting retail demand for diamonds has never been so critical, some members of the trade really need to take a good look at the way they operate.
Needless to say, the kind of people who operate illicitly and unethically and do the kind of things mentioned above are hardly likely to be sensitive souls who are now going to sit quietly and think about their activities and change their operations. But wouldn't it be nice if they did?