De Beers Group set to launch ‘Ignite’ for screening synthetic and lab-grown diamonds in smallest melee diamonds in 2023


Surat: Now the smallest diamonds—a tenth of a point in size (0.001 carats) in large volumes will be screened for synthetic or lab-grown diamonds. For the first time, the De Beers Group is set to launch a new diamond verification instrument ‘Ignite’ for melee screening in early 2023.

The new instrument, part of the AMS range, will enable automated and rapid verification of up to 3,600 diamonds per hour in the 0.001 carats to 0.0033 carats (0.6 to 1.0mm) size range, significantly enhancing the efficiency of the process for volume synthetic screening of diamonds of this size.

The instrument has been in development for the past 18 months and with its automated feed and dispense function and very low referral rate, can also be easily operated in-house with no specialist expertise required. It is the next evolution in Ignite’s extensive range of diamond verification devices, which continue to lead the development of cutting-edge technology across the diamond value chain.

Sarandos Gouvelis, Head of De Beers Group’s Ignite division said: “We constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways to ensure we are meeting the industry’s needs at all stages of the pipeline with our advanced innovation and technology solutions. We believe this new instrument will play an important role in continuing to enhance our comprehensive suite of leading-edge technology for screening of synthetic or laboratory-grown diamonds right down to the smallest sizes, while making it easier and quicker for diamond businesses to assure product integrity.

“With this new collaborative approach to development, we’ve been able to ensure a clear understanding of our customers’ perspectives and make sure that what we deliver is the right fit to meet their needs. We have found the process to be very valuable for all involved over the last year of development, and we would invite other industry businesses to let us know if there are any specific challenges where they believe such an approach could pay dividends.”

In developing its latest instrument, Ignite has undertaken a collaborative approach that has involved working alongside several customer businesses to ensure the development path is focused on meeting clients’ specific synthetic screening and diamond verification needs, adding value from both an operational and commercial perspective.

De Beers Group has developed screening and verification technology at its innovation, science, and technology hub in Maidenhead since the early 1990s.  The company’s first instrument, the DiamondSure I, was developed in 1992 and was quickly followed up by DiamondView I. Both Instruments were offered for sale to the broader industry in 1998 following a feature review by the award-winning Journal, Gems & Gemology.

To date, a total of 11 diamond screening and verification instruments have been developed by De Beers Group to accurately screen loose and mounted diamonds in jewellery, now with the ability to rapidly and automatically screen and verify the integrity of diamonds down to the smallest melee range.