Independent centre of excellence

The Birmingham Assay Office and De Beers Group Industry Services, two institutions with a long history of supporting the jewellery industry by encouraging consumer confidence through integrity and transparency, have announced plans to join forces at IJL this September to help enhance the industry’s confidence in synthetic diamond screening processes.

Birmingham Assay Office and De Beers Group Industry Services will be showcasing live demonstrations of the award-winning SYNTHdetect™ screening device.  Demonstrations will be taking place on Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd September at Birmingham Assay Office’s stand, B90. De Beers Group Industry Services will also be participating in a seminar on Monday 2nd September, 11:30-12:15, in the Knowledge Hub with David Brough and Jonathan Kendall.

Undisclosed synthetic diamonds threaten to not only undermine trust in the diamond pipeline, they also threaten the integrity of the wider jewellery industry. Definitive identification and certification of stones from expert gemmologists using specialist testing equipment like the SYNTHdetect is therefore important to protect pipeline integrity.

Synthetic diamonds are not in themselves problematic; they simply provide a different product offering for consumers, as they have a different value proposition. The key is ensuring that consumers can make clear and informed choices about what they buy. The major risk, therefore, lies with the potential for synthetic diamonds being knowingly or unknowingly passed off as natural diamonds, which are inherently more valuable than their man-made counterparts. Because synthetic diamonds have the same optical and chemical properties as natural diamonds, it is important for trade participants, whether retailers or experienced gemmologists, to have access to effective equipment to detect lab-grown stones definitively.

Jonathan Kendall, President of De Beers Group Industry Services said ‘We released SYNTHdetect in 2018, and it is the first synthetic screening device to simultaneously test multiple stones in set jewellery and has the industry’s lowest referral rate (around 0.05%).  It is designed to quickly and efficiently test the authenticity of diamonds mounted in jewellery, although the device can also be used to test loose stones of various sizes. Last September, the device won the 2018 Industry Innovation of the Year for Diamond Testing Technology at the JNA Awards’.

Sarah North, Sales Director at Birmingham Assay Office said, ‘Undisclosed synthetic diamonds can compromise the reputation of a business. We want to help our customers protect their business from the risks relating to undisclosed synthetic stones, and we have invested in the best technology to be able to do this. We are very much looking forward to joining De Beers Group Industry Services at IJL to drive this important topic and show how the jewellery industry can safeguard itself from undisclosed synthetic stones’.  

Birmingham Assay Office and De Beers Group will be showcasing their synthetic diamond detection service and SYNTHdetect technology at the Birmingham Assay Office stand (B90) at IJL, Olympia 1-3 September 2019.




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