| Hong Kong Jewellery 香港珠寶
News & Highlight


  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Dror Yehuda
  • (From left) Dror, Roni, Meira, Zvi, Yael and Moshe Yehuda

Game changer

A magic wand was perhaps the only thing we could think of to hide the inclusions in diamonds. It was not until 1982 that the ‘trick’ could be done by technology when Zvi Yehuda came up with the idea of clarity enhancement which has revolutionised the diamond industry since then. Among the many other innovations, Yehuda has brought to the industry includes the 100-percent accuracy synthetic diamond detector Sherlock Holmes. Marketer of the clarity-enhanced diamonds Dror Yehuda tells us more about the technology, its impact, the laboratory-grown diamond issue, and a “larger detector”.

In a bid to maximise the size and beauty of polished diamonds, Yehuda Diamond Company has introduced a proprietary technology which makes certain types of inclusions within a diamond disappear and are completely invisible to the naked eye. President of the company Dror Yehuda explains: “The type of inclusion that the process can hide is called a feather. A microscopic amount of a patented substance having the same optical properties as the diamond is inserted into the inclusion. Now the light can pass through the inclusion which is no longer visible to the naked eye.” He added that if there is a hole, a cavity or a missing part in a diamond, the enhancement process cannot work.

Coming with a lifetime guarantee, the Yehuda Clarity Enhanced Diamond can withstand normal wear and tear by customers. “In the rare event that the diamond loses its enhancement, we will restore the enhancement at no charge,” Yehuda said.
He offers a rough estimate of the price comparison between untreated natural diamonds, Clarity Enhanced Diamonds and lab-grown diamonds. “The Yehuda Clarity Enhanced Diamonds are sold at about 30 percent discount compared with regular non-enhanced diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are currently sold at about 60 percent discount over natural diamonds. To put it into numbers, if a natural diamond is sold at US$1,000, a Yehuda Diamond is sold at US$700, and a lab-grown diamond is sold at US$400,” he elaborated.

The introduction of clarity-enhanced diamonds has changed the profile of a diamond, as well as the profile of the diamond industry. “We have introduced the concept that a diamond can be ‘treated’ or ‘enhanced’,” said Dror Yehuda. “There was a huge resistance to it at the beginning. But the smart jewellers have adopted the idea of offering a larger diamond for less costs to the consumers. The product actually saved many companies from losing business especially in the technology/ Internet era. There were hundreds of diamond companies and thousands of jewellery stores around the world that made a living proudly selling clarity enhanced diamonds. The market was changed forever,” he said.

The proprietary product launched in the 1980s even paved the way for the smooth and overwhelming success of lab-grown diamonds, according to Yehuda. “For those jewellers who were already selling a different kind of diamond the concept was clear. They already knew how to sell a bigger diamond for less. They had 30 years of experience. All they need to do is change the title from Clarity Enhanced Diamond to lab-grown diamonds. Lack of training is usually the main reason for failure. Here they were trained,” he added.
The diamond industry in the past decade faced an unprecedented crisis, from De Beers’ stopping advertising all the way to banks’ withdrawal, shrinking credit lines and the rise of lab-grown diamonds. To restore the normality of the industry, Yehuda says that making sure the diamonds are clean is paramount.

“The new generation of customers clearly cares where the diamonds come from. They also care about whether the people employed in the industry are treated with honour and dignity. It is also important to continue advertising diamonds to the world with full force. Last but not less important is to keep lab-grown diamonds clean. Make sure customers get what they think they got. If consumers are cheated and lose confidence, the industry will be lost forever,” he said.

The fact that De Beers sets its Lightbox jewellery price at US$800 per carat has concerned the lab-grown diamond sector. Yehuda said prices of lab-grown diamonds are bound to go down with or without De Beers’ entering the market. “It opens the eyes of everybody that they should go into the lab-grown diamond market faster. It (De Beers’ move) may have reduced the time of the prices going down but when we talk about technology, no one can stop it. It also encourages many large companies to enter the field of lab-grown diamonds which De Beers didn’t foresee,” he said.

To Yehuda, the natural diamond and lab-grown diamond sectors can easily attain a win-win situation when people understand that lab-grown diamonds are here to stay and that many consumers like that idea. “If everybody will praise their own product and not degrade the other, there is no reason for both not to flourish,” he believes.

Designed to separate diamonds from synthetic diamonds, the Sherlock Holmes Detector developed by Yehuda detects 100% of lab-grown diamonds, according to Project Assure co-launched by the Diamond Producers Association (DPA). The flying result does not stop the inventor from moving further ahead. “Project Assure found that our device has between 2.2 and 2.4 percent false positive results, meaning with a small amount of natural diamonds, our device ‘thinks’ that they are lab-grown diamonds. We are developing a new edition with an even smaller amount of false positive results and a more user-friendly interface,” said Dror Yehuda.

He unveils that they are working on a larger Sherlock Holmes which can check 50 to 75 rings at a time, as well as large jewellery pieces such as bracelets and necklaces. “The market has been asking for this for a while and I can announce that it is coming shortly and will have the same 100 percent detection accuracy as its smaller-sized brother,” he said.

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