CVD Synthetic Diamond Over 5 Carats Identified by GIA

This 5.19 ct CVD synthetic diamond (10.04 × 9.44 × 6.18 mm, with J-equivalent color and VS2-equivalent clarity) is the largest GIA has identified to date. Photo by Johnny Leung and Tony Leung.

Originally published by GIA on October 5th 2016

Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technology has accelerated over the last several years, and the rapidly improving techniques have produced large, high-quality near-colorless and colorless synthetic diamonds. Two samples over 3 carats were reported in early 2016 as the largest CVD synthetics. GIA recently tested a CVD-grown synthetic diamond that weighed over 5 carats, marking a significant milestone.

The 5.19 ct cushion modified brilliant measuring 10.04 × 9.44 × 6.18 mm was submitted to GIA’s Hong Kong laboratory for grading service. The stone was not disclosed as a synthetic diamond. Using the lab’s standard screening and testing processes, it was identified as CVD synthetic. Following examination, a GIA Identification Report was issued and the stone was inscribed on the girdle with the report number and the words “Laboratory Grown,” following GIA’s protocols for undisclosed synthetics.

This is the largest CVD synthetic diamond GIA has examined to date, and the largest reported in the jewelry industry. It had J-equivalent color grade and VS2-equivalent clarity, comparable to a high-quality natural counterpart. Natural-looking internal inclusions such as needles and clouds were the major features. Strong graining and a fracture in the table were also clearly observed under the microscope. The black inclusions that are often found in synthetic diamond, were not found in this CVD specimen. This stone could have easily been mistakenly identified as natural based on microscopic examination alone. This case highlights the importance of using advanced spectroscopic instruments as well as conventional gemological techniques to ensure an accurate identification. Link to Original Article

I will be writing more on the subject of lab grown diamonds in the coming days. If you are interested in the subject I would encourage you to join my mailing list! 

Burmese Ruby, Jade Ban Officially Ended

The Jubilee Ruby: a 15.99-karat Burmese ruby and diamond ring by Verdura. Courtesy of Christie’s

Reported by JCK Magazine.

The 8-year-old sanctions on Burmese ruby and jade coming into the United States were officially lifted by an executive order dated Oct. 7.

President Obama signaled his intention to lift the ban last month.

The timing was auspicious—leaders of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) and Jewelers of America were on a trade mission to Myanmar (formerly Burma) when the sanctions were lifted.

“We have had an amazing reaction from the top down,” says Jeffrey Bilgore, AGTA president. “This is a country coming out of the darkness of 50 years of military rule and eager to participate in the new order. We have met everyone from the smallest artisanal miner to the members of parliament. And they are really excited to be part of the gem community. It’s a big relief and a long time coming.”

Jewelers and their customers will benefit from greater access to choice gems, he says.

“Customers are still asking for Burma rubies,” Bilgore says. “After eight years of no longer being able to import, it will have an impact.”

The leaders acknowledged that the Burmese jade sector remains problematic, and they were mostly focused on reestablishing ties with the gem business. (In addition to rubies, Myanmar produces sapphires, topaz, and other gems.)

“The gem sector has always operated in a very different way than the jade sector,” Bilgore says. “There is still an awful lot of work to do there. The gemstone sector can be a model to the jade sector in helping to modify their practices.”

Another mission participant, AGTA CEO Doug Hucker, says that local miners were eager to do business responsibly.

“We have made recommendations to them,” he says. “Across the board they have been receptive. Everyone wants to do business in the right way. It’s ingrained in their philosophy, their religion.”

Jewelers of America president and CEO David Bonaparte, also on the mission, says that his members were anxious to “get the ball rolling” and “reintroduce gems from Burma in their stores.”

Bilgore says that the local reaction to the sanctions’ lifting was ecstatic.

“This is the proudest gem valley in the world,” he says. “It goes back 1,000 years. America is the largest gem-consuming market in the world and [the country hasn’t] been able to sell us rubies for eight years. They are happy to come out from the darkness, come out from the cloud.”

Also on the trade mission: James Shigley from the Gemological Institute of America; Timothy Haake of Haake Fetzer, senior counsel to JA; and a representative of the Inle Advisory Group, a Myanmar-centric business consulting firm.

The ban on the importation of rubies and jade into the United States came into effect with the passage of the JADE Act in 2008. When that law expired in 2013, President Obama issued an executive order that year keeping the ruby and jade ban in place.