“Diamond Sure,” the De Beers-developed device that sniffs out HPHT-annealed and synthetic stones, has hit the market—and it’s giving some a case of sticker shock.
The device sells for $12,500. A companion device—”Diamond View,” which gives a definitive reading on a stone’s origin—sells for more than $50,000.
GIA Gem Instruments United Kingdom managing director Howard Pomerantz says the high price tag stems from the complicated laser technology the device uses.
“There is really very little margin here,” he says. “We are basically bringing this to market at our cost.… If a retailer can buy one or two large stones with the assurance that they are natural, they can pay for the machine immediately.”
Pomerantz says Diamond Sure is easy to use and compact, “about the size of a 5-in. or 6-in. portable television.” The device identifies natural stones and refers for further testing stones it suspects to be moissanite, cubic zirconia, synthetic, and HPHT-annealed.
Diamond View is more complex, requiring the services of a gemologist or lab technician, although Pomerantz says, “It’s really not that complicated. If I can do it, anyone can do it.”
For now, most buyers of these devices are gemological laboratories; all the major ones have ordered them, Pomerantz says. He feels these devices are more important in the wake of recent stories on synthetics such as those in Wired magazine and on 60 Minutes II.
“There is heightened public awareness,” he says. “So now the industry can tell consumers that we are aware of this and there are protections in place in every laboratory in the world.”
For more information on Diamond Sure and Diamond View, go to giageminstruments.co.uk.