Diamonds: Materialytics Claims It Can Trace a Stone’s Origin & More

Origin Stories A company's claim that it can determine a diamond's country of origin with "95 percent accuracy" has raised both interest and skepticism, prompting some to speculate whether blood diamonds will one day be identifiable. Nelson Winkless, a spokesman for Materialytics—a Killeen, Texas, firm that specializes in the origin of materials—says his company uses lasers to determine the chemical composition of a mineral, which is then matched against a database of that object's properties. "If we have enough samples, you can tell what mine the stone came from," he says. "To my surprise, nature seems to be pretty consistent." And the technology may have an added benefit: determining if a stone is manmade or HPHT-treated. Gemological Institute of America scientists, however, remain skeptical. "The capability of using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy [LIBS] to tel

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