Some much-needed good news on the synthetic diamond detection front: The Gemological Institute of America has developed—and will sell to the industry—a machine that can determine if a diamond is natural, or possibly lab grown or treated.
The instrument, called DiamondCheck, uses spectroscopy and works in combination with recently developed GIA software that interprets the data. So when a stone is put into the machine, it will tell the user if it is “natural and untreated,” “not diamond,” or “further testing [is] needed to determine treatment or synthesis.”
DiamondCheck. Photo courtesy GIA.
The device will be offered available for sale through GIA Instruments later this year for $23,900. It can examine diamonds as small as one to two millimeters, which means it’s useful for all but the smallest stones. However, unlike what we’ve heard about 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.
This is not, it should be clear, the long-sought-after “black box” that easily detects synthetics. It is not fully automated and requires an operator to install the stone. However, it is designed to be user-friendly, and you don’t have to be an expert in spectroscopy to use it. (I was told even I could do it.)
The GIA is offering the device for free to the major diamond clubs through the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and will install one next week at the New York Diamond Dealers Club. GIA plans a demonstration for the trade press next week as well. This is a positive development, and we hope to have more on it soon.