February 17, 2005
Newsweek Intl. Errs in Synthetic Story
magazine's international edition has agreed to post a letter
correcting errors in a story on synthetic diamonds both 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
synthetic detection devices, was unable to identify as fake three CVD
synthetic diamonds produced by Apollo Diamond, Boston, MA.
fact, the machine did identify the synthetics, says Ehrenwald, whose
lab Newsweek reporter Michael Hastings was visiting when he witnessed
DiamondView in action. "DiamondView is a luminescence-imaging
instrument, which 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 both the
appropriate detection equipment and level of knowledge, can detect
these stones," says Ehrenwald.
April 2004, De
Beers announced it would begin selling its two synthetic
detection devices to members of the trade through an agreement with
the Gemological Institute of America. In November 2004, the
Diamond High Council said at its annual conference in Antwerp
that it too would begin selling a battery operated device that can
detect synthetics, beginning in April 2005.
by Peggy Jo Donahue