Reprinted from Jewelers' Circular Keystone January 1998
TV Report Probes Drilled Diamonds
Jewelers in the Philadelphia area braced for a pre-Christmas report on undisclosed fracture-filled diamonds and an attack on laser-drilled diamonds by TV consumer reporter Herb Denenberg, of the NBC affiliate WCAU.
Although the news segment featured reports of undisclosed fracture-filled diamonds, the bulk of Denenberg's report took on the Federal Trade Commission's ruling that allows jewelers to sell laser-drilled diamonds without disclosure.
There are problems out there of all kinds, but I wanted to focus on laser drilling because the FTC has copped out, making legal what should be illegal," says Denenberg.
In preparing his reports, Denenberg worked with retail jeweler John Anthony Jr. of John Anthony Jewelers, Bala-Cynwyd, Pa., and New York diamond dealer and Gemologist Craig Nass of Nass & Associates.
Anthony says that fracture filling of laser drill holes has become a real problem. "I've had four such stones -- engagement rings bought elsewhere -- come through my store in recent months, so I know the problem's getting worse." He believes many go undisclosed into cheaper tennis bracelets. "I've taken in (for repair) two tennis bracelets like that and talked to jewelers who've discovered the fillings when they've repaired some of these tennis bracelets," he recounts. "The torch goes on and all of a sudden the diamonds look crazed."
Nass, a former instructor on fracture filling and diamond treatment identification for the Gemological Institute of America, says his role on the segment was to show people how to find fracture fillings on their own.
Like Anthony, Nass says he finds "drilled-filled stones in parcels all the time," noting that filled laser drill holes are just as easy to detect as filled cracks and gletzes.
"I've learned to check everything. A few weeks ago, I had a parcel of 100 quarter caraters and found two filled stones."
Ð Russell Shore
Reprinted from Jewelers Circular Keystone January 1998