Muscat: There was 37.3 per cent increase in the number of samples of precious stones examined at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in the last five months during the year 2019 over the same period last year. The number of samples examined in the laboratory of the ministry between January and May this year reached to 574, compared with 418 samples examined during the same period in 2018.

Nasser bin Ashraf Al Baloushi, head of the precious stone testing laboratory of the Directorate General of Standards and Metrology, said: "The examination in a specialised stone testing laboratory, which has the required technical capabilities, is the best way to avoid being cheated.

Nasser Al Baloushi said that the precious stone testing laboratory of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry conducted the examination and analysis of polished diamonds, polished coloured stones, pearls and issued certificates with their specifications and decide the type of treatment of each of these types.

Al Balushi said: "The laboratory also examines gemstone jewellery, inspecting raw gemstones, gives technical advice in the areas of precious stones, increases awareness of the traders and consumers, coordinates with the government and private entities, and inspects jewellery stores.

He pointed out that Omani law prohibited sale of the precious stones, their display or possession unless accompanied by a receipt or card with the coloured stones, mentioning the name of the stone, its weight, carat weight, colour and, if possible, the level of exposure to any kind of treatment.

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