The service is available for submissions of round, D to Z melee-sized stones ranging from 0.90 to 4.00 mm in diameter – approximately 0.005 carats to 0.25 carats.According to a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) statement, the fully automated system separates natural, untreated diamonds from simulated and potentially synthetic or treated stones. It added that the service was developed to tackle industry concerns about the possibility of natural melee parcels containing undisclosed synthetic or treated diamonds.
The screened stones are sorted by colour and customers can also specify a size range for parcels, with a minimum of 500 pieces per parcel accepted.
As previously reported by Jeweller, while the GIA had screened larger diamonds for treatments and synthetic origins for a number of years, it had not been possible to do the same for melee-sized stones until now due to their small size and high quantities.
The machine is capable of processing 1,800 to 2,000 diamonds per hour and will run 24 hours, seven days a week. Once sorted, the melee is sealed in secure packaging for shipment to a third party – upon request and when permissible – or back to the submitting customer.
A GIA spokesperson confirmed to Jeweller that the service was available at all GIA laboratories.
De Beers investment
Meanwhile, De Beers Group's International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research (IIDGR) has announced the expansion of its diamond grading and testing centre in Surat, India.The US$5 million (AU$6.7 m) upgrade is said to help meet the demand for a range of services offered at the facility, including polished diamond verification and grading as well as melee testing and screening. It is believed to have the capacity to process a value of more than $US500 million ($US671.2 m) of diamonds each year.
In addition, the IIDGR will launch an education program at the Surat centre to support the Indian diamond sector in 2017.
“Through the IIDGR, De Beers Group is investing in innovations to ensure India maintains its position as a global diamond hub, as well as ensuring that the sector has the skills and tools to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” IIDGR president Jonathan Kendall said.
According to the De Beers statement, the IIDGR will also expand its melee testing service and launch a melee grading service next year.
The IIDGR is a grading services and equipment provider for the diamond industry. It was established by De Beers in 2008 and has offices in Antwerp, Surat and Maidenhead in the UK.
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