DPA & Signet Launch Assure Programme
The Assure programme, a joint collaboration by the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) and Signet Jewelers, has developed a universal standard to test the performance of diamond verification instruments in a consistent manner.
The Assure programme recently published the results from the independent performance tests in the Assure directory on diamondproducers.com/assure. 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.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of the DPA, 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 programme 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 (RJC).”
Pramod Agrawal, chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), said, “GJEPC has always believed that segregation of natural diamonds and synthetic/laboratory-grown diamonds is of paramount importance. For this, it is important that the industry is made aware of the various machines and their capabilities. This will help industry participants to choose the ‘right’ machine for their needs, as the costs vary depending on the speed and technology incorporated in the machines. We are happy that the DPA, through the Assure programme, has taken an initiative in this regard. This information will go a long way in effective segregation of diamonds, as a category, from synthetic diamonds, and eliminate confusion and enhance consumer confidence and trust.”
Andrew Bone, executive director, RJC, 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 programme in their efforts to enhance consumer confidence in the jewellery industry.”
The Assure programme partnered with the 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 of the Diamond Verification Instruments Standard. 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 the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Gemmological Institute of India (GII), Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR) now known as De Beers Group Industry Services, National Gemstone Testing Center (NGTC), Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF), Technological Institute for Superhard and Novel Carbon Materials (TISNCM) and Scientific and Technical Research Centre for Diamond (WTOCD).
The diamond verification instruments have been tested with the Assure Core Sample, a highly contaminated sample made up of 1,000 natural diamonds and 200 synthetic diamonds including very challenging synthetic diamonds, some of which are not yet available
in the market. When needed, 200 diamond simulants were added to the sample. The stones sizes ranged from 0.02 carat to 0.20 carat in D-J colour.
The first round of testing took place at UL’s laboratories in Canton, Massachusetts, USA, and the results will continuously be made available in the Assure directory in the coming weeks. Thereafter, the Assure directory will be regularly updated as new instruments are submitted to testing or re-testing, and the set of stones included in the sample will evolve continuously to include new synthetic diamonds as they are identified.
David Bouffard, vice president corporate affairs, Signet Jewelers Ltd., said, “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 programme 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 jewellery supply chain.”
Wayne Bilodeau, operations director, UL, said, “UL is proud to partner on the Assure programme and provide trustworthy and stringent testing, empowering trust and delivering quality in the diamond supply chain and diamond verification instrument industry.”
De Beers submitted four instruments for testing: DiamondSure™, AMS2™, SYNTHdetect™ and DiamondView™, receiving excellent results overall, and with the SYNTHdetect, AMS2 and DiamondView being the only tested instruments to achieve a diamond accuracy rating above 99%. Three of the verification instruments gave a 0% false positive rate meaning no synthetic diamonds were misidentified as natural diamonds, with the AMS2 recording near perfect results. All of the instruments either identified or referred 100% of synthetic diamonds for further testing. The DiamondView achieved 100% accuracy and a zero referral rate and the AMS2 and SYNTHdetect instruments referred less than 0.75% 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 programme’s 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’s M-Screen+ desktop fully automated screening device was tested in accordance with the Diamond Verification Instrument Standard with the test protocol for instruments that separate diamonds from synthetic diamonds and diamond simulants.
Michel Janssens, CEO of HRD Antwerp, said, “The Assure programme is a precious asset for diamond traders. 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 programme, and we look forward to proving that we can even do better with our brand new M-Screen 4.0.”
Assure certification mark