De Beers Adds Grading Specs for Lightbox

De Beers Lightbox Grading

Lightbox has added grading information for its synthetic white diamonds in an effort by the De Beers brand to bring further transparency to the lab-grown sector.

The company will provide technical specifications showing the minimum quality of its stones across cut, color, clarity and carat weight, Lightbox said Monday. It will include these descriptions with each white lab-grown diamond it sells, but will not grade each stone individually. The specifications are based on internationally recognized grading standards, the De Beers-owned company noted.

“This new feature is just one more way Lightbox can instill consumer confidence,” the company added.

An infographic with the information is also available on Lightbox’s website. Those specifications list its synthetic white diamonds to be “near colorless” or better, which the company defines as between G to J, meaning only a trained gemologist can detect a trace of color. The stones all have a minimum clarity of VS, and a cut of “very good.” The stones are still priced at $800 per carat.

Lightbox, which De Beers launched in 2018, does not currently intend to offer grading information for its blue or pink lab-grown diamonds.


WD Sues Diamond Growers over CVD Patents

A 9.04-carat round brilliant produced by WD Lab Grown Diamonds in 2018 using chemical vapor deposition.

The companies behind WD Lab Grown Diamonds have filed three lawsuits against competitors, accusing them of infringing patents for diamond synthesis and treatment.

The Carnegie Institution of Washington, a science organization, and M7D Corporation, which trades as WD Lab Grown Diamonds, took action Thursday again six companies that produce or sell diamonds made using chemical vapor deposition (CVD).

One of the complaints targets Pure Grown Diamonds (PGD) and IIa Technologies, which produces CVD goods for PGD. A second filing is against Mahendra Brothers, a De Beers sightholder, and its affiliate, Fenix Diamonds. The third suit takes aim at Altr, another lab-grown supplier, and its owner, R.A. Riam.

Carnegie invented and patented a version of CVD, known as microwave-plasma CVD (MPCVD), that can create a purer diamond because it doesn’t involve electrodes, which often contaminate the product, according to the lawsuits. It also patented a method for enhancing a stone’s visual characteristics through heat treatment at high pressure and temperature. M7D holds the license to both patents, the three similar lawsuits continued.

“The existence of the patents…are well-known in the lab-grown diamond industry, and in particular are well-known by lab-grown diamond manufacturers, importers and sellers,” Carnegie and M7D claimed.

Carnegie and M7D are seeking damages and a judgment declaring that the six companies violated their patents. The companies were not available for comment Sunday.



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Labs Refute Claims HPHT Escaping Detection

IIDGR AMS2 synthetic diamonds test

Major gemological laboratories have rebuffed claims that detection machines are failing to spot synthetic diamonds that have undergone irradiation.

In a trade alert last week, Diamond Services argued that the treatment, generally used to alter the color of a stone, can mask the phosphorescence effect when diamonds created using High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) undergo scanning at room temperature.

While detection machines can often identify HPHT diamonds because they phosphoresce — or glow — under ultra-violet light, certain devices fail to spot some of those stones that have been subject to irradiation, the Hong Kong-based diamond-technology company argued.

However, De Beers and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) have denied the impact of such a phenomenon on their machines’ ability to sift out HPHT synthetics.

“The International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research (IIDGR) confirms that its instruments AMS2, SYNTHdetect, DiamondView and DiamondSure are all effective at screening HPHT synthetic material which has been irradiated and is tested at room temperature,” the De Beers-owned grading unit said in a statement last week.

“Any business using these devices can have full confidence that any such material will be detected without the need to undertake tests at different temperatures,” it added.

Meanwhile, although detection devices based on phosphorescence may not be able to detect some HPHT-grown irradiated synthetics, the GIA’s machines can spot them, the Carlsbad, California-headquartered laboratory stressed.

“The ability of the instruments that GIA uses to differentiate natural diamonds from HPHT and CVD [chemical vapor deposition]-grown synthetic diamonds, including the GIA iD100 gem-testing device and the GIA Melee Analysis Service, is not affected by irradiation treatment,” the GIA told Rapaport News.

Examining diamonds at the temperature of liquid nitrogen can be an extremely accurate method of detecting synthetics, while a technique called Raman spectroscopy is a simple way of spotting irradiated diamonds, according to Joseph Kuzi, founder and president of Diamond Services.

“Our latest findings indicate that the diamond and jewelry trades should show extra caution, but we do not claim that irradiated HPHT-grown synthetic diamonds are undetectable,” Kuzi said.


Lab Finds 3ct. Synthetic Diamond with Fake Report

Synthetic diamond with fake report

A grading laboratory in China has discovered a synthetic diamond masquerading as a natural stone, complete with a forged inscription and a falsified report.

The National Gemstone Testing Center (NGTC) in the city of Shenzhen received a round-brilliant, 3.1-carat diamond ring, which it subsequently graded as F or G color and VS clarity, it said last week.

However, when gemologists checked the laser-inscription code that was already on the girdle, using an online certificate-verification service, they found the grading report bearing that number was for a natural diamond with similar, but not identical, characteristics. The certificate they saw online was for an H-color, VS1-clarity diamond.

The Chinese lab carried out tests that confirmed the stone in the ring was synthetic, created using chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The inscription and accompanying paper report, purporting to be from an international grading laboratory, were fakes, the NGTC said.

The stone had a type of impurity, known as a “silicon-vacancy center,” that is extremely rare in natural diamonds but common in CVD diamonds, helping the scientists identify its origins. It also had other characteristics that indicated it was synthetic, such as showing green fluorescence under ultra-violet light.

While this was not the first case of its type — the Gemological Institute of America last year found a synthetic diamond with a forged inscription — it is rarer for a Chinese lab to make such a discovery, NGTC noted. It is also one of the larger synthetic diamonds to have cropped up with false credentials to date, the lab added.

“The growth technology of CVD synthetic diamonds has been making great progress for decades in [terms] of size, color and clarity,” the lab said. “Recently, the distinct characteristics of the synthetic diamond are becoming less, and it is more difficult to differentiate.”