Mar 06, 2019

DPA & Signet Jointly Launch Independent Assurance Programme for Diamond Verification Instruments

The Diamond Producers Association (DPA) and Signet Jewelers in a joint collaboration have initiated the ASSURE Program. Under this, results of the independent performance tests of Diamond Verification Instruments have been published in the ASSURE Directory on
“Through the ASSURE Directory trade participants can access objective and third party verified information on the relative performance of Diamond Verification Instruments and guidance on how to ensure that their business is protected from undisclosed laboratory grown diamonds,” DPA said in a press release, explaining the thinking behind the move.

Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of the Diamond Producers Association, said “Trade participants have a shared responsibility to disclose the nature of the product they are selling to protect the end consumer. Through the ASSURE Program we will support the diamond trade, from independent jewellery retailers to large diamond manufacturers, to make informed decisions on how to ensure that undisclosed laboratory grown diamonds do not enter their natural diamond supply chain. The ASSURE test results should be considered along guidelines formulated by the Responsible Jewellery Council.”

Andrew Bone, Executive Director at the Responsible Jewellery Council, said “We welcome this initiative to support the spread of effective diamond verification practices across the pipeline. We will continue to support the DPA and the ASSURE Program in their efforts to enhance consumer confidence in the jewellery industry.”

In order to create the database of tested instruments, the ASSURE Program partnered with 11 manufacturers representing the 18 most widely available Diamond Verification instruments in the market. 

“The instruments submitted to ASSURE have been tested in accordance with the methods and protocols in the Diamond Verification Instruments Standard,” DPA stated. “The standard was developed in collaboration with the independent third-party test agency UL and a Technical Committee consisting of leading scientists and academics from major gemmological organisations, including GIA, GII, IIDGR, NGTC, SSEF, TISNCM and WTOCD.”

The testing of the instruments was done  using “deliberately challenging” samples, which included  natural diamonds, laboratory grown diamonds and, if applicable, diamond stimulants. The tests were  designed to provide an indication of the relative performance of the instruments.

 While the first round of testing took place at UL’s laboratories in Canton, Massachusetts, USA, DPA said that and the results “will continuously be made available in the ASSURE Directory in the coming weeks”. 

Down the line,  the ASSURE directory will be regularly updated as new instruments are submitted for testing or re-testing, and the set of stones included in the sample will evolve continuously to include new synthetics diamonds as they are identified.

David Bouffard, Vice President Corporate Affairs, Signet Jewelers Ltd. commented: “The Diamond Verification Instrument Standard is a vital initiative to provide the diamonds and jewellery trade with independent guidance about the capabilities of diamond verification instruments available in the marketplace. The ASSURE Program has already proven valuable for companies in our supply chain who operate at a global scale. We look forward to all of our suppliers implementing ASSURE Certified technology to help protect the integrity of the global jewelry supply chain.”

Wayne Bilodeau, Operations Director, UL, said “UL is proud to partner on the ASSURE Program and provide trustworthy and stringent testing, empowering trust and delivering quality in the diamond supply chain and Diamond Verification Instrument industry.”
Meanwhile, in   simultaneous press releases, both, the De beers Group and  HRD  separately announced  that their respective  instruments for diamond verification had passed the ASSURE Program tests and were listed on the ASSURE Directory. 

De Beers Group Industry Services announced yesterday that all four of their diamond verification instruments (DVI) submitted for testing as part of Project ASSURE have received outstanding results. The four instruments which were submitted are: DiamondSure™, AMS2™, SYNTHdetect™ and DiamondView™.

 “All four verification instruments gave a 0 per cent false positive rate meaning no synthetic diamonds were mis-identified as natural diamonds, the Company stated. “All of the instruments either identified or referred 100 per cent of synthetic diamonds for further testing. The DiamondView achieved 100 per cent accuracy and a zero referral rate and the AMS2 and SYNTHdetect instruments referred less than 0.75 per cent of natural diamonds for further testing.”

Speaking about the results, Jonathan Kendall, President, De Beers Group Industry Services, said: “We are thrilled to have received the results of the ASSURE programmes independent testing and to have learnt that our diamond verification instruments performed so well. It is of key importance to the diamond industry that we are able to provide clear guidance about the capabilities of diamond detection instruments so that our customers can have confidence in the machinery, and their ability to detect lab grown diamonds.”

HRD Antwerp said that its M-Screen+, the desktop fully automated screening device   automatically separates diamonds from synthetic diamonds and diamond simulants, and is suitable for large scale diamond wholesalers, diamond cutting and polishing sites, jewellery manufacturers, and gemological laboratories.

“The ASSURE Program is a precious asset for diamond traders,”  said Michel Janssens, CEO of HRD Antwerp. “They can now finally access reliable information concerning the performance of diamond verification instruments available on the market.  We are thrilled that the undeniable and unbeatable speed and efficiency of our M-Screen+ have been highlighted in the program, and we look forward to proving that we can even do better with our brand new M-Screen 4.0.”

HRD Antwerp had recently announced the launch of its new M-Screen 4.0, offering a five  times lower referral rate compared to the M-Screen+, without compromising the high speed and accuracy of the screening process.     
Pic Cap: Some of De Beers’ Diamond Verification Instruments