The Gemological Institute of America lab will soon have the ability to mass-screen smaller stones to check for synthetics, chief laboratory and research officer Thomas M. Moses said in a speech delivered Aug. 31 at the Israel Diamond Exchange.
“Later this year, we will be taking delivery of our first high-speed screening [device] for small diamonds,” Moses said. “It will do multiple things, not just screening for natural and synthetics. We expect, sometime in 2016, to have the capacity to [test] 200,000 to 400,000 small stones per day.… I can assure you, it will be done at a price that will easily fit into [your] business.”
The service will be able to evaluate stones from 1 pointers on up, Moses said.
Moses also announced that GIA plans to grow diamonds regularly at its research and instrument-development facility located in an unnamed town in New Jersey.
“I am hoping our first run will be in January,” Moses told attendees. “We are not really interested in selling diamonds or synthetic diamonds. But the way we can best meet [identification] challenges…is to do this. This is a multimillion-dollar investment. Outside of Element Six, [we] are the only other group [doing] this for the industry.”
While the New Jersey facility is not new, it formerly did research only for GIA instruments, says spokesperson Stephen Morisseau.
“We will soon get the equipment to grow diamonds, which we haven’t had before,” he continues.
Moses added that the amount of synthetic diamonds in the industry has increased, and GIA is seeing those diamonds submitted to its lab.
“Most of the synthetic diamonds coming into GIA…are trying to be passed as natural,” he said.