The GIA has developed a fully automated system which it says can rapidly and accurately analyze and sort round D-to-Z melee-size diamonds. The system was developed in response to concerns in the gem and jewelry industry about the possibility of synthetic or treated diamonds being mixed into parcels of melee. The pilot for the GIA's Melee Analysis Service will be carried out next month at GIA’s laboratory in New York. The service will be offered at all GIA locations, with the roll out beginning in the third quarter of this year. “This system, which incorporates proven instrumentation, standards and processes used in GIA laboratories, will give the industry and consumers confidence in the characteristics, including color, of these most prevalent stones,” said Tom Moses, GIA’s executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer.
The GIA Melee Analysis Service will separate natural, untreated diamonds from simulants and potentially synthetic or treated diamonds, and sort the screened diamonds by color range, the GIA said in a statement. Clients can also specify a size range for their parcel. The system will process about 1,800 stones per hour and can accommodate stones from 1.1 to 3.8 mm in diameter (approximately 0.005 ct to about 0.20 ct.) The cost of the service ranges from eight to 30 cents (U.S.) per stone based on diameter, with a minimum of 500 pieces in each parcel. Once sorted, the melee will be sealed in secure packaging for return shipment.