World's top diamond grading and research institute promoted by the De Beers group of companies has finally come to the rescue of the Indian diamond industry.
In order to maintain consumer confidence in diamonds and help detect synthetic diamonds, the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), country's apex diamond body has collaborated with De Beers' International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research (IIDGR) for providing Automated Melee Sorting (AMS) machines for detecting lab-grown diamonds mixed with the natural diamond parcels in the next three months.
The AMS machines can detect synthetic stones in a parcel of small diamonds ranging from 0.01-0.20 carats, mainly manufactured in Surat and Saurashtra, in a cost effective manner and with utmost speed.
Surat has earned a bad name world over following the expose of the mixing of lab-grown diamonds with natural diamonds.
There are few small and medium players, who are clandestinely manufacturing lab-grown diamonds and later mix them with the natural diamond parcels.
All the lab-grown diamonds are imported from China and Hong Kong.
Industry sources said the AMS machines have the capacity to detect diamonds in a big lot, thus making the detection of lab-grown diamonds more easy and fat.
In the first phase, these machines will be operated by the Diamond Detection and Resource Centre (DDRC), a part of the Gemological Institute of India (GII) at the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) premises.
"Diamond traders dealing in small diamonds could get their parcels tested at affordable cost.
The AMS machines will go a long way in eradicating the illegal practice of mixing lab-grown diamonds in the natural diamond parcels" said a senior office-bearer of GJEPC.
Dinesh Navadia, president, Surat Diamond Association (SDA) told TOI, "It is a good move for the diamond industry. The association will urge the apex body to have the AMS machines installed at the diamond association office in order to test the diamond parcels."