HONG KONG -- Antwerp Scientific Research Centre for Diamonds (WTOCD) has developed an automatic melee screening device in collaboration with HRD Antwerp.
The technology required to grow diamonds within a controlled laboratory environment has been around for decades but was until recently primarily used to produce industrial diamonds.
As the technology gradually matured and the overall manufacturing costs decreased, the production of gem quality laboratory-grown (synthetic) diamonds has now become a financially viable option.
With more and more companies venturing into the production of synthetic diamonds these days, an influx of such diamonds entering the market seemed inevitable. Due to the fact the quality of laboratory-grown diamonds produced today is of such a high quality, differentiating natural diamonds from their lab-grown counterparts has become increasingly more difficult.
All HRD Antwerp labs have the expertise and equipment to screen and detect laboratory-grown diamonds but the financial cost of these examinations often outweighs the value of small diamonds. The development of an automatic melee screening device was therefore deemed necessary.
To that aim WTOCD, the Antwerp research centre for diamonds, has developed the M-Screen which will be commercialized by HRD Antwerp.
The M-Screen is a superfast, automated melee screening device that screens round brilliant diamonds from 1 point to 20 points for potential lab grown diamonds, potential HPHT colour enhanced diamonds and simulants.
The M-Screen automatically feeds, screens and sorts out round brilliant diamonds at a super speed of minimum two diamonds per second (7.200 diamonds per hour). Depending on the size of the stones and the size of the batch, the speed can be as high as a staggering 18.000 diamonds per hour.
"It's important that all natural, lab grown diamonds, simulants and HPHT treated diamonds are identified in order to sustain trust throughout the diamond pipeline. It is our mission to service the diamond trade and industry by offering assistance in the development, selection and implementation of new technologies resulting in top quality products such as the M-Screen," explains Yves Kerremans, Director of WTOCD and head of the project.
"We're extremely excited about the launch of the M-Screen as this will undoubtedly prove to be a game changing screening and detection solution for melee goods within any industrial environment," says Marc Thomassen, Chief Equipment Officer HRD Antwerp.
In addition to the commercialization of the M-Screen, HRD Antwerp is currently also looking into providing a new melee screening service in its lab in Antwerp using the M-Screen. For larger lab grown diamonds which are submitted for certification under disclosed conditions, HRD Antwerp issues a Laboratory Grown Diamond Certificate.