Hong Kong is a unique diamond center that serves three different functions. It is one of the main wholesale polished diamond trading hubs, a major diamond consumer market, and it serves as a gateway to the Chinese market – both retail and for manufacturing. As such, the local Hong Kong diamond organizations play an important role in serving this exceptional market. Chief among them is the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China (DFHK), a non-profit organization that aims to protect the integrity of diamonds and consumer interests by standardizing business practices.
DFHK was formed when two long-established local associations, Diamond Importers Association, which was formed in 1959, and the Hong Kong Diamond Bourse, established in 1985, joined forces. The vision the establishing members had in mind for the Federation was to lead and steer its members “to demonstrate professionalism among diamond traders in Hong Kong. Strategically integrating the competitive edges of various diamantaires to achieve the highest efficiency in markets.”
Since its establishment nearly twenty years ago by a group of local diamond traders, diamond manufacturers, and retailers, DFHK has played a significant role in Hong Kong's diamond and jewelry trade. Among other things by helping it become a central trading point for all of Asia's diamond needs and connecting them to local, Chinese, and global markets.
The Federation helped establish and maintain Hong Kong as China's leading distribution center, providing a trusted platform to its members and companies who trade with Hong Kong’s diamond industry.
Since its foundation in January 2000, the DFHK has focused on two main missions: to maintain Hong Kong’s reputation as the “World Diamond Centre” and promote quality services and consumer rights. To carry out these two missions, DFHK formed the Natural Diamond Quality Assurance Mark Scheme and the Integrity Pledge Scheme. The two were launched to ensure an ethical and professional image for the trade and for DFHK members.
The Diamond Federation launched the Natural Diamond Quality Assurance (NDQA) in March 2015. It is a diamond mark scheme, established to uphold the integrity of the diamond industry, protect consumer rights and interests, and maintain the status of Hong Kong as Asia’s diamond center, or as the Diamond Federation views Hong Kong role – a shopping paradise and Asia’s world city.”
Since the introduction of the Natural Diamond Quality Assurance, and with the wide support from Hong Kong’s diamond industry, the number of participating merchants is currently in the hundreds and includes 90 percent of the DFHK retail division members. According to a recent statement by Chow Kit Shing, Chairman of DFHK, the NDQA Mark Scheme has been focusing on promotion and education, stating, “The aim of promotion is to raise the recognition and understanding of the Scheme among consumers.”
Its advertising campaigns focus on online marketing through social media platforms including WeChat, Facebook and Instagram. In addition to promoting integrity in diamond trading and consumer confidence, the mark also battles attempts to blur the lines between natural and lab-grown diamonds. This includes promotions that aim to establish that only natural diamonds are sold by NDQA-participating merchants and that the quality of the diamonds matches merchant descriptions. The posts also conveyed the basic intrinsic value of natural diamonds and how it relates to emotion and the daily lives of consumers.
The Integrity Pledge Scheme was launched to ensure an ethical and professional image of the trade, according to DFHK. Under this self-regulatory scheme for the diamond industry, members would list a truthful and accurate description of sold diamonds weighing 0.30-carats or more on the sales invoice. The aim is to allow consumers to buy diamonds and diamond jewelry with confidence when shopping in Hong Kong.
Integrity Pledge Scheme members are reputable jewelers interested in protecting consumer interests and voluntarily commit to the Integrity Pledge Scheme as introduced by the trade authority.
Another way to support the local industry and consumer confidence is through its support and association with the Hong Kong subsidiary of National Gemstone Testing Centre (NGTC), a Chinese government owned gemological laboratory.
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Diamond industrialist Ehud Arye Laniado is a man passionate about diamonds. From his early 20s in Africa and later in Belgium honing his expertise in forecasting the value of polished diamonds by examining rough diamonds by hand, till today four decades later, as chairman of his international diamond businesses spanning mining, exploration, rough and polished diamond valuation, trading, manufacturing, retail and consultancy services, Laniado has mastered both the miniscule details of evaluating and pricing individual rough diamonds and the entire structure of the diamond industry. Today, his global operations are at the forefront of the industry, recognised in diamond capitals from Mumbai to Tel Aviv and Hong Kong to New York.