Diamond fraud uncovered

by Dr. M.S. Krzemnicki, first published in Facette 27 (June 2021)

Figure 1: The yellowish diamond on the right was fraudulently labeled as Top Wesselton (rare white+ or F after current CIBJO nomenclature). The diamond on the left is a CIBJO masterstone for an F colour (lowest possible F colour). Photo: SSEF.

As in the past, the SSEF is regularly asked by the Swiss police authorities to act as a gemmological adviser in criminal cases. Usually, these are fraud cases, involving undeclared or mislabeled gemstones or their imitations.
In a recent case with about 20 stones submitted by the police, we not only found diamonds with incorrect grading labels (Figure 1) and undisclosed fissure-fillings (Figure 2), but also cubic zirconia that was fraudulently mislabeled as diamond and sealed in a plastic card.

These examples unfortunately highlight the risk for consumers when buying diamonds without proper documentation by an internationally recognised laboratory.

Figure 2: Beautiful flash effect seen under microscope in this fissure-filled diamond, but not nice as it was not disclosed! Photo: SSEF.
Figure 3: Beware the seal: This is not a diamond but cubic zirconia! Photo: SSEF.

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