Given recent reports that synthetic melee is being sold undetected, the question is: How should the industry handle this?
The good news is that De Beers has developed what it bills as a synthetic melee detector. But I made a goof in my post last week; De Beers is not at this time offering the device to the trade at large, only to its clients (who are currently testing it). That’s disappointing—and I do hope the company, which knows how important consumer confidence is to this business, will share this device with the rest of the industry, or at least with the main gem labs.
The Gemological Institute of America, for its part, has talked about a synthetic melee detector in the past, but then backed away. It doesn’t seem to have changed that, but is working on improving its lab instrumentation, according to spokesman Stephen Morisseau.
For now, the best option for dealers is to have your stones checked by a lab. GIA has a “low-cost” service that can detect if a stone is natural (which you can read about here). New York City lab Analytical Gemology & Jewelry has long talked about its batch testing method, and it just sent out a new release about it. And the International Gemological Institute also offers screening and batch testing services.