The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) has debuted a new Assure portal, which rates testers on their ability to distinguish natural diamonds from lab-growns.
The Assure 2.0 site compares and contrasts the different verification instruments on the market, looking at the types of diamonds it screens for, the volume of diamonds it can process, the device’s size, and the level of expertise required.
Each diamond is independently tested by a third-party laboratory against an Assure sample, which is composed of natural and lab-grown diamonds as well as simulants. The sample contains synthetic diamonds not yet commercially available in the industry, the NDC said.
They are rated on their false positive results (how many synthetics or simulants are accidentally flagged as naturals), its referrals (how many need to be “referred” for further testing), and overall accuracy. The NDC notes the optimal false positive and referral rates are zero, while the optimal accuracy rate is 100%.
All instruments are operated by a novice, the NDC said, to simulate the results expected from a new purchaser of the device.
Participants in the program get to sport the Assure Partners and Certification Mark, which says that it’s been independently tested. The mark is not an endorsement of device or its test results, the NDC said.
The news comes as De Beers has introduced yet another new diamond screener: an automated melee device that it says can screen as many as 3,600 small diamonds an hour to see if they are natural or lab-grown.
The machine “specifically caters to the smallest melee sizes, from 0.0033 carats down to 0.001 carats—one-tenth of a point,” a spokesperson tells JCK. “It significantly enhances the efficiency of the process for screening diamonds of this size through an automated approach.”
The machine was developed in consultation with the industry, it said, and “requires no extra screens or additional equipment and operates as an entirely freestanding unit.”
The new device, which took 18 months for its De Beers Group Ignite division to develop, will be available in 2023. Pricing has not been released.
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