Tourists buy diamond jewellery in South Africa as a memento of their visit and because it was
mined in “the Land of Diamonds and Gold.” But, if a jeweller inadvertently sells them a diamond
which they later discover is a worthless lab-grown stone made in China, they may be mad enough
to sue the jeweller and the guide who referred them, or, at least, will bad-mouth the guide and
South African jewellers in general. All will be losers, just because most of our jewellers do not have
the expertise nor the equipment to identify a synthetic lab-grown diamond, and our guides do not
This is a real predicament for our jewellers as well as for guides and concierges who are often
asked by visitors to recommend a “honest” jeweller. Today, uninformed consumers are still prepared to pay thousands of dollar for a lab-grown diamond, and many jewellers prefer to sell them as the profit they make on lab-grown stones is much larger than on natural diamonds. (Note: the wholesale cost of lab-grown diamonds has recently bottom out to a few dollars per carat.) And with such enormous profits, these jewellers can afford to pay ridiculous commissions to a tour guide.
What to do?
Firstly, our guides and concierges should know whether the jeweller they recommend has the
expertise and equipment to identify lab-grown diamonds. Even if a lab-grown diamond comes with
a GIA certificate, the jeweller who cannot identify a lab-grown stone is in trouble, because, The SA
Jewellery Council recently warned that lab-grown diamonds with fake GIA certificates are
circulating amongst dealers.
Secondly, guides and concierges must be aware that most jewellers sell lab-grown diamonds as
well as natural diamonds from the same premises. These retailers thus run the risk of an
unintentional mix-up and selling a worthless lab-grown stone to a tourist who thought he was
buying a real diamond from African soil.
Sadly, very few SA jewellers can identify lab-grown diamonds. And there-in lies the danger as
tourists may unwittingly be sold a worthless lab-grown diamond instead of the real thing. Their
African experience will be soured and South Africa will become known as the land where “tourists
do not buy diamonds.”
Recommend the Prins & Prins Diamond Experience For your peace of mind and to safeguard you overseas visitors from an unfortunate diamond purchase, consider the Prins & Prins Diamond Experience, be cause:
Since 1982, we have been selling natural diamonds and coloured gemstones only.
We do not carry moissanite or lab-grown diamonds, either as loose stones or set in jewellery.
We employ three qualified GIA gemmologists who screen every stone that enters our premises in
our fully equipped Gemmological Laboratory.
Our design studio and in-house goldsmiths create masterpieces set with natural diamonds that will
last a lifetime. Visitors can interact with our goldsmiths.
Browse our showrooms or enjoy a private consultation.
We offer a free tour through the iconic Huguenot House, ca 1752, and
A free tour of our Gem and Jewellery Museum.
Visitors can relax in our in-door garden with a glass of Kaapse Vonkel in our in-door garden.
Please ask yourself; “Can I afford to send my guests for a diamond purchase to any jeweller, and
four weeks later receive a lawyer’s letter claiming fraud. Of course not.
Please phone our reception at 021 422 1090, or our tourist Liaison Elena at 0605033874 to
inform us when you have recommended our unique diamond service to your guests.