In February 2003, New York-based EGL-USA was awarded a $50,000 grant by the JCK Industry Fund in support of the gem lab’s ongoing research in the identification of natural and synthetic diamonds modified by high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) treatment. According to EGL-USA director Mark Gershburg, EGL-USA will match the grant it has been awarded.
EGL-USA plans to use the research funds toward four initiatives: acquiring advanced equipment, research at HPHT processing facilities, study of various types of diamonds before and after HPHT processing, and education and publishing.
EGL-USA included research on synthetic diamonds in its JCK Grant proposal because producers of synthetics use the HPHT equipment to manufacture their stones, which have been more present on the market in the last couple of years, said Gershburg. The original color of the stones can be improved through additional pressure and temperature, and these synthetic HPHT-treated stones could be confused with natural diamonds that have either natural color or have been modified by HPHT.
As its research evolves, the lab plans to continue to keep the trade informed of its findings. A booklet called “Changing the Color of Diamonds: The High-Pressure, High-Temperature Process Explained” is free to the industry. For a copy, call (877) EGLUSA1 and ask for the HPHT booklet.
EGL-USA is a full-service gem lab with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Toronto. Originally part of an international network established in 1974, EGL-USA has been a privately owned independent lab since 1986.