In the fight against non-disclosure of lab-grown/synthetic diamonds by unscruplous diamond dealers, and the tendency to mix such diamonds with natural diamond parcels, researchers at the Gemological Institute of America, led by Dr. Wuyi Wang, GIA’s director of research and development, has developed a 100% accurate synthetic diamond detector, that has the ability to determine the result within 10 seconds. The user-friendly detector known as the DiamondCheck can be operated by anyone, who could be easily trained on how to operate the machine. One need not be a gemologist or an expert in spectroscopy to use the machine.
DiamondCheck uses spectroscopy and works in combination with recently developed GIA software to interpret the data, giving the result in the form of three possible outcomes :- 1) Natural and untreated 2) Non-diamond 3) Further testing needed to determine treatment or synthesis. Tom Moses, senior vice-president of GIA Laboratory and Research, said the device that is 100% accurate is able to examine diamonds from 1 point to 10 carats in weight, the usual range in which synthetics appear in the market. According to Dr. Wuyi Wang, the head of the research team that developed the machine, there are certain chemical features that occur only in natural diamonds, and it is the ability of DiamondCheck to identify these subtle chemical differences that makes the result so precise. However, unlike De Beers’ synthetic melee detector, which can check large amounts of small stones in bulk, this new device can examine stones only one at a time.
The GIA in association with the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) is offering the device free-of-charge to all the member bourses around the world such as in Israel, South Africa, Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. The first DiamondCheck machine will be installed at the Diamond Dealers Club in New York on Thursday, January 30, 2014. The GIA will also train individuals on the technique of operating the machines at the various diamond bourses. The WFDB, which is committed to enforcing its stand of “zero tolerance” in the non-disclosure of synthetic stones, said the assistance offered by GIA in making these machines available to member bourses will be of great assistance in the detection of illegal mixing of synthetic and natural diamonds. The GIA is planning to offer the device for sale through GIA Instruments later this year for $23,900.