It is highly unlikely that there will ever be a “black box” that makes it easy to detect synthetic diamonds, two Gemological Institute of America scientists told a June 18 meeting of the Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America.
“I just don’t think that is going to happen,” said Tom Moses, GIA’s senior vice president of laboratory and research.
Regarding reports of a laser pen that can detect synthetic diamonds, Moses said he hadn’t examined the method but was “a little skeptical.”
Moses said he thought that detection of synthetic diamonds—as well as HPHT diamonds—was likely to be something only gem labs with trained gemologists could handle.
Moses added that synthetic diamonds are not new, but many still find them hard to grow in larger sizes. He added the two main methods—HPHT and CVD—have been around for 50 years and the industry should not fear them.
“We have had created rubies for 50 years,” he said, “and you still read of rubies breaking auction records.”
He said that the industry keeps hearing about new sources of lab-grown diamonds. For instance, some Chinese-grown gems appeared last year at the Tucson gem shows, and now colorless stones are being produced by AOTC, which retails under the name D.Nea.
Another speaker, Wuyi Wang, the director of research and development for the GIA lab in New York, reviewed advances in HPHT for the DMIA audience. He noted that now we are seeing combination treatments, such as recently-spotted treatments that combine irradiation and annealing.