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Confidence in the diamond sector

By Jonathan Kendall*

I have previously discussed how vital confidence is if you are to succeed at any and all stages of the diamond value chain, and to maintain confidence requires expertise, innovation and hard work.

In the diamond sector, this has never been truer than it is today. Across the industry, experience and knowledge are vital for diamond businesses when it comes to retaining the confidence of customers.

A central part of maintaining this confidence, and a key area of focus for us at De Beers Group Industry Services (DBGIS), is research into diamond synthesis and the development of equipment that can reliably and consistently detect synthetic diamonds and ensure they are not misrepresented as natural diamonds.

And because we’ve been working on this for almost three quarters of a century the synthetic diamond detection machines that we at DBGIS produce are not only some of the best available on the market but also designed to be prepared for unknown eventualities.

A good example of how our expertise and experience allows us to be ready when challenges arise was the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) recent report that it has discovered a “hybrid diamond”, where a layer of synthetic diamond is added to a natural diamond.

Despite it being thought that this “hybrid diamond” was a new variety not yet seen on the market, it was a De Beers Group DiamondView™ machine that detected it.

This was no coincidence. We have been developing insight and understanding into all parts of the diamond industry for more than a century, and working to ensure we can support the industry’s needs through our services as a result. This has allowed us to deal with today’s challenges while being prepared for those of tomorrow.

This was recognised in September of last year when we were honoured to win the Industry Innovation of the Year for our SYNTHdetect™ synthetic diamond screening device at the JNA Awards.

Then, earlier this year, we received the results from the testing of all four of our synthetic diamond detection machines, DiamondSure™, AMS2™, SYNTHdetect™ and DiamondView™. They were tested as part of the Diamond Producers Association’s Project ASSURE – a new initiative focused on testing the performance of synthetic diamond detection machines in a consistent and transparent manner, and involving the use of a core sample of 1,000 diamonds, 200 synthetic diamonds and 200 diamond stimulants.

The results were exemplary for our technology, which I’m delighted to say came as no surprise as we devote so much time, money and experience to ensuring we are prepared for any eventuality.

All four verification instruments gave a zero per cent false positive rate, meaning no synthetic diamonds were misidentified as natural diamonds.

All four also either identified or referred 100 per cent of synthetic diamonds for further testing, in line with their intended functionality. DiamondView™ achieved 100 per cent accuracy and a zero-referral rate and the AMS2™ and SYNTHdetect™ instruments referred less than 0.75 per cent of natural diamonds for further testing.

These reassuringly predictable results are the outcome of our unceasing focus on meeting our customers’ needs and protecting the inherent value of natural diamonds.

These achievements have only been made possible because of the commitment and determination that my colleagues have demonstrated over decades, and I am confident that with the outstanding team we have in place, we will continue to play a leading role in meeting the industry’s needs when it comes to the fifth C: confidence.

*Jonathan Kendall is the President for the De Beers Group Industry Services

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