DPA to Scrutinize Synthetic Detection Machines

Jean-Marc Lieberherr
Jean-Marc Lieberherr

Mumbai: The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) plans to audit synthetics detectors to help the industry navigate its way around the broad choice of machines available on the market, reports Rapaport.

The group is laying the groundwork for an independent laboratory that will test diamond-screening devices currently sold in the market and publish its results to the trade. The marketing body aims to gather a committee of representatives from major industry organizations by the end of March to assess the scope of the program.

“This is a DPA initiative that responds to an obvious need that all in the trade recognize, and aims to do it in a concerted and efficient manner without duplication of work,” Jean-Marc Lieberherr, chief executive officer of the DPA said in an email to Rapaport News.

At least five different companies or laboratories produce devices for screening diamonds, while the number of actual products is more than double that figure. Devices vary in terms of ease of use and the size of diamonds they can test, while the purchase prices range from $4,000 to $350,000, according to research by Surat-based DRC Techno, which itself produces three different screening machines.

The variation is such that some equipment can only identify stones grown from chemical vapor deposition (CVD), and others can only pick high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) diamonds, and some can do both. “These machines are not foolproof,” said Sutariya Vipul, president of DRC Techno.

Lieberherr said the lab will not rank equipment or make recommendations but will carry out object and robust testing so diamond companies can know the market better. “That way they can make an informed choice about what is best for their business,” the executive added.

The DPA has requested a budget of $60 million from its seven members this year for all its operations, Ernest Blom, president of World Federation of Diamond Bourses, said at a press conference in Mumbai this week. De Beers and ALROSA are expected to contribute $25 million each with the remaining companies splitting the remaining $10 million between them.