News & Press: Member News

How One AGS Supplier Detects Synthetic Diamonds in Melee

Tuesday, November 29, 2016  
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MeleeNews of undisclosed synthetic diamonds has flooded the press and social media, causing great concerns in our industry. These uncertainties affect everyone from diamond dealers and suppliers to the retailer and their customers.

Synthetic diamonds have been around for several years and go by a variety of names: cultured, cultivated, man-made, lab created, lab- or laboratory-grown. They demonstrate similar characteristics of natural diamonds but can be manufactured at lower costs. They are widely used in end-user industries such as mining and construction, electronics, healthcare, and jewelry.

Parcels of diamonds, particularly melee parcels, have contained amounts of undisclosed synthetic diamonds. AGS supplier member—Grunberger Diamonds, the world’s largest producer of Ideal cut melee—is equipped to immediately detect synthetic and man-made diamonds. We’ve reached out to Chris Lachman, CG, of Grunberger Diamonds, and asked him about their process of detecting synthetic diamonds.

How does Grunberger Diamonds track from mine to factory?

We purchase very specific types of rough on the Antwerp Rough Diamond market from a select group of suppliers we have had a relationship with for decades. This allows us to know exactly what we are buying, eliminating the chance of any foreign, unnatural diamonds from entering our system.

The diamonds are then shipped via Brinks to our factory in Vietnam. Because we have our own cutting facility in Vietnam, the rough diamonds remain on our premises for the duration of the time it takes to be transformed from the rough to the finished polished product.

From there, each diamond undergoes strict observation and rigorous testing. Since our diamonds all have a unique cut, it would be nearly impossible for synthetic diamonds to find their way into our inventory and not be detected in the sorting process.

From that point, the polished diamonds are safely and securely shipped via Brinks back to our Antwerp office for even more quality control testing. Once completed, our assorted diamonds are shipped to our offices worldwide for distribution to our customers.

How do you manage any contamination points with the HRD M-Screen Plus?

Every diamond that we manufacture in our factory will be screened using the latest technology—the HRD M-Screen Plus—which will be delivered to our Antwerp office in January 2017.

The M-Screen Plus automatically feeds, screens, and then sorts each diamond into two trays, one for natural diamonds and the other for potential lab grown/HPHT color-treated diamonds and stimulants. The machine processes thousands of diamonds (0.005ct and larger from D-J color) an hour.

For more information about the steps Grunberger Diamonds is taking to detect synthetic diamonds, please click here.

To see a brief video about Grunberger’s diamond cutting facility in Vietnam, click here.



Mission Statement

The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.

AGS Laboratories, founded to support the AGS mission, is a nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with a mission of consumer protection. Adhering to the AGS Diamond Grading Standards, AGS Laboratories is dedicated to offering diamond grading reports that provide consistency and accuracy based on science.

American Gem Society