DTC Appoints GIA as Distributor
of DiamondSure & DiamondView
Both groups hope the devices will offer consumers reassurance
the diamonds they buy are natural
The increasing production of synthetic diamonds prompted De Beers Diamond Trading Co. to make its two state-of-the-art synthetic and simulant diamond detectors more widely available to the trade. The devices are now for sale through GIA Instruments U.K., a division of the Gemological Institute of America. DTC made the announcement at BaselWorld during a seminar that discussed consumer confidence in natural diamonds.
The first device, DiamondSure, is a simple-to-use rapid screening instrument. All stones passed by DiamondSure are guaranteed to be natural diamonds. DiamondView is significantly more sophisticated. It unambiguously differentiates natural diamond from its imitation and synthetic counterparts using surface fluorescence and phosphorescence techniques.
The initial target is gemological laboratories, though all orders will be welcomed and filled as more devices are produced. GIA quotes prices for the two instruments in British pounds. The DiamondSure is £5,750 (about U.S. $10,352), while the DiamondView is £27,500 (about $49,511).
Heightened Awareness of Synthetics
Were glad to see the implementation of this important technology for distinguishing synthetics, says James E. Shigley, director of research at GIA. This has been an ongoing objective for GIA, especially in view of the recent increase in awareness of synthetics and the heightened interest in their detection by the industry and the public. Shigley says that in recent months, the news media have made more inquiries about synthetics and the ability to detect them than for any other gem issue. This is mostly due to an article in a fall 2003 issue of Wired magazine about chemical-vapor deposition synthetics and high-pressure/high-temperature treated diamonds that generated follow-ups in many media outlets.
DTCs announcement about the new GIA distribution agreement came in a DTC seminar on consumer confidence. The speaker was Jonathon Pudney, DTC marketing director of brand communications. Consumers are committing a huge amount of money to what is perceived to be a difficult purchase thats also infused with emotion, says Pudney. If consumers have to question whether a stone is natural, they may well buy some other luxury product, such as a travel experience or a watch, he says.
The good news is that recent DTC studies show a majority of consumers trust retailers. In the U.S., for example, 26% of consumers trust retailers highly, while an additional 51% trust retailers somewhat. For this reason, Pudney says DTC encourages retailers to be sure they can detect all synthetics, simulants and treated diamonds.
by Peggy Jo Donahue