Professional Jeweler Archive: Newsweek International Errs in Synthetic Story

April 2005

News | Diamonds

Newsweek International Errs in Synthetic Story

IGI sets the record straight on De Beers' DiamondView synthetic detector: It works

The international edition of Newsweek agreed to publish a letter correcting errors in a story on synthetic diamonds online and in its Feb. 28 print edition, says the letter’s author, Jerry Ehrenwald, CEO of the International Gemological Institute, New York City. The magazine incorrectly reported that DiamondView, one of De Beers’ two devices that detect synthetics, was unable to identify as fake three CVD synthetic diamonds produced by Apollo Diamond, Boston, MA.

In fact, the machine did identify the synthetics, says Ehrenwald, whose lab Newsweek reporter Michael Hastings visited when he witnessed the DiamondView in action. “DiamondView is a luminescence-imaging instrument that gives the information required in order to make a definitive identification regarding whether a stone is natural or synthetic,” says Ehrenwald. “The stones Newsweek brought to the IGI lab exhibited a strong and characteristic fluorescence reaction during DiamondView testing, which IGI gemologists unequivocally stated ‘proved the stones were synthetic.’

“The sensational nature of the article misled readers. In reality, gemologists working at labs and in retail outlets, with the appropriate detection equipment and level of knowledge, can detect these stones,” says Ehrenwald.

In April 2004, De Beers announced it would sell its two types of synthetic detection devices to members of the trade through an agreement with the Gemological Institute of America. In November 2004, the Diamond High Council in Antwerp, Belgium, said it too would sell a battery-operated device that can detect synthetics beginning this month.

Copyright © 2005 by Bond Communications