EGL International in Israel has reported the discovery of four synthetic diamonds in a package containing 20 diamonds submitted for grading by an established customer. Managing Partner and CEO Guy D. Benhamou said that the stones were Type IIa diamonds, which, while rare, are the most suited to being treated.
Benhamou said EGL International's widespread investment in the latest technology "had proven itself" by uncovering the lab-created stones. The first stage in the examination process, using FTIR infrared spectroscopy, showed the stones to be suspicious, added Benhamou. The stones were then tested using the DiamaTest machine, produced by Hong Kong company Diamond Services Ltd., which rapidly showed that the diamonds were not natural. Finally, a Raman spectroscopy examination confirmed that the diamonds were, indeed, lab-grown.
"This incident is rather exceptional," Benhamou noted. "Media reports over the past two years, approximately, of synthetic diamonds being mixed with natural diamonds usually related to parcels of melee diamonds. Because such goods are so small, they were not usually being checked and so they could potentially pass into the supply chain.
"In this case, however, the lab-grown diamonds that were mixed in with natural goods were relatively large. We are talking about diamonds of the following sizes: 0.90, 0.91, 0.96, and 1.71 carats. They were also VS-VVS clarity, and J-K color. The conclusion is that these are quite big diamonds and of reasonably high quality. This is worrying for many reasons, but particularly because someone has raised the stakes and thinks it is now possible to introduce higher-quality, larger synthetic diamonds into the diamond jewelry pipeline," said Benhamou.
"As a top-quality laboratory, EGL International sees itself as a filter and the diamond trade's backstop working to identify and document synthetics that are trying to be introduced into the supply chain. In this way, we are also playing a critical role in ensuring that consumer confidence in diamond jewelry is not affected.
"This case shows how leading labs, such as EGL International, are fulfilling a vital mission in ensuring that such stones do not get through to the jewelry-manufacturing part of the supply chain. It also shows that the diamond business can be confident that our state-of-the-art equipment can detect such stones," Benhamou commented.
He said that the four synthetic diamonds were submitted to EGL International as part of a parcel of 20 diamonds by a long-time customer. He added that the lab's clients sign a document when handing over diamonds for inspection and grading that to the best of the customer's information they are natural diamonds. "We must assume that the client did not know," added Benhamou.
According to Benhamou, four synthetic stones were graded by EGL International and all four received the lab's "Laboratory Grown Diamond" certificates. He added that, following the standing instructions of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, the words ‘Laboratory Grown Diamond' were inscribed on the girdle of the stones.
Can you believe there are still " Laboratories and valuers" providing certificates in Australia without the equipment necessary to identify natural diamonds. Yes its true ! and the jewellers use and respect them ?