World Federation of Diamond Bourses President Ernie Blom has praised the EGL International laboratory in Israel for its “vigilance” after the lab discovered four synthetic diamonds in a parcel of 20 stones submitted by a long-time client.
“I am pleased to read that the various checks that the industry has put in place as well as the vigorous testing that the labs do has ensured that non-disclosed synthetics are detected,” Blom said in comments cited by IDEX Online.
“In this particular case I thank the EGL for their vigilance. What is important now is to ascertain how this happened and to this end I will ask the Bourse President to investigate and report back.”
The lab-grown diamonds were uncovered in the first phase of testing using FTIR infrared spectroscopy, said EGL International Managing Partner and CEO, Guy D. Benhamou, who added that the diamonds were Type IIa stones which lend themselves to treatment.
Extra testing was carried out using the DiamaTest machine recently introduced to the market by Hong Kong-based firm Diamond Services Ltd. A further examination using Raman spectroscopy of the stones confirmed these findings.
“Not only is this an unusual case, but the diamonds are rather large,” explained Benhamou. “Industry concern over the past year or so was raised by small synthetic stones being snuck into parcels of natural melee diamonds. However, these diamonds were 0.90, 0.91, 0.96, and 1.71 carat stones, VS-VVS, and J-K color. In other words, they were relatively large and high quality diamonds.
“They were submitted as part of a parcel of 20 diamonds by a client who has been using our services on an ongoing basis for quite some time. Since clients have to sign a document when submitting stones saying that they are, to the best of their knowledge, natural diamonds, then we assume he did not know. The assumption is that he was also sold the stones as 20 natural diamonds because otherwise there would have to be a disclosure on the invoice that they were synthetics.
“We are very much aware of the sensitivity and topicality of this issue. We see ourselves as a type of filter for the diamond industry in screening out such stones. And this incident proves that EGL International, among other leading labs, play a critical role, and that the equipment we use is accurate. If such synthetic diamonds pass through undetected and are sold as natural diamond jewelry and only then discovered, then the damage to consumer confidence would be huge.”
Benhamou said that the four synthetic diamonds were graded and provided with Laboratory Grown Diamond certificates. The words Laboratory Grown Diamond were also inscribed on the girdle of the stones in line with World Federation of Diamond Bourses guidelines.