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Online diamond sales challenge traditional market

Singapore startup seeks to market stones as tradeable financial assets

KGK Diamonds' cutting and polishing facility in Gaborone, Botswana (Photo by Peter Guest)

SINGAPORE -- Casey Lai sits behind the counter at House of Hung, a jeweler at the northern end of Singapore's Orchard Road. Under the glass is an array of diamonds -- cut, but unset -- gleaming blue-white beneath the sharp shop lights.

"One of the worst mistakes you can do is walk into a jewelry store and make a decision based on your eyes," Lai said. "How you see diamonds under different types of lighting is very different. All jewelry stores, including us, use these calibrated LED lights. This kind of light makes everything look good. Even if I take a [glass] crystal, under this light it looks fabulous. So, good diamonds, bad diamonds -- under this light, it all looks the same."

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