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EGL Intl. Identifies Synthetics Mixed With Natural Diamonds

Jun 3, 2014 7:27 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT...  EGL International discovered four substantial-size synthetic diamonds mixed in with a package containing 20 diamonds submitted for grading by one of its established customers. The group's CEO, Guy D. Benhamou, noted that the four synthetic stones were 0.90-carat, 0.91-carat, 0.96-carat and 1.71 carats, VS to VVS in clarity and J to K in color, type IIa diamonds.

"This is worrying for many reasons, but particularly because someone has raised the stakes and thinks it is now possible to introduce higher-quality, larger synthetic diamonds into the diamond jewelry pipeline," Benhamou said.
EGL International first identified the stones as "suspicious" by using its FTIR infrared spectroscopy. The stones were then tested using a DiamaTest machine, produced by Hong Kong company Diamond Services Ltd. Finally, a Raman spectroscopy examination confirmed that the diamonds were lab-grown, he said.

“This incident is rather exceptional. Media reports over the past two years, approximately, of synthetic diamonds being mixed with natural diamonds usually related to parcels of melee diamonds. Because such goods are so small, they were not usually being checked and so they could potentially pass into the supply chain.

“Needless to say, this issue is top of the industry’s agenda. Hardly a meeting of an international diamond industry organization or major tradeshow passes by without discussions on the topic. As a top-quality laboratory, EGL International sees itself as a filter and the diamond trade’s backstop working to identify and document synthetics that are trying to be introduced into the supply chain. In this way, we are also playing a critical role in ensuring that consumer confidence in diamond jewelry is not affected," he said.

The lab’s clients signed a document when handing over diamonds for inspection and grading that to the best of its knowledge, the stones were natural diamonds. “We must assume that the client did not know," Benhamou said. The four stones were graded by EGL International with "Laboratory Grown Diamond" certificates and this identification was also inscribed on the girdle of the stones.

Tags: diamonds, EGL, grading, Israel, Jeff Miller, laboratory services, synthetic
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