Aug 19, 2019

GII Hosted Symposium on Advances in Gem & Diamond Detection Technology-2019

Earlier this month, the Gemmological Institute of India (GII) organized a two-day international symposium on Advances in Gem & Diamond Detection Technology-2019 (AGDDT-2019) in Mumbai. The event coincided with the IIJS Premiere 2019 trade show.

The forum was designed to boost the exchange of ideas among scientists, technologists, traders and members of testing laboratories and was attended by about 150 persons connected to the industry, including internationally renowned experts from India, USA, China, Thailand, Switzerland and Belgium.

The symposium was a unique platform that brought together experts on both diamonds and coloured gemstones, with the major focus this year being on laboratory grown diamonds and their detection; treatments and colour grading of rubies and sapphires.

Day 1 was dedicated to the exchange of current information on scientific and technological developments in gems and diamonds, while the second day featured three panel discussions on trade related issues.

As reported earlier, the symposium was inaugurated by Bakul R. Mehta, Chairman, GII, Pramod Kumar Agrawal, Chairman, GJEPC and Anoop Mehta, President, BDB which was followed by a brief context-setting presentation by Dr. AVR Reddy, Secretary of AGDDT.

Dr. Tom Moses, Senior Vice President of GIA, USA delivered the keynote address on contemporary issue of great concern to diamond traders and consumers alike viz., laboratory grown diamonds (LGDs). Ms Richa Singh, DPA in her address explained the outcome of Project Assure in which various instruments for diamond detection were evaluated with a predetermined set of measurements.

Later, there were a series of talks on different aspects of diamonds by experts. The session was chaired by Dr. Wuyi Wang, Vice president (Research) GIA. A talk on Detection of Laboratory Grown Diamonds (LGDs): Experiences at GII was presented by Dr. M.D Sastry, GII followed by a talk by Dr. Taijin, NGTC, China on Chinese Synthetic Diamonds and the Detection / Identification at NGTC Laboratories. Dr. Dheeraj Jain from BARC spoke on Synthesis of Diamond Films for Technological Applications by CVD Methods. Ms. Ann Van Spaendonk, Belgium explained Latest Scientific Developments regarding Detection Methods for Synthetic Diamonds in HRD. Dr. Wuyi Wang gave an informative talk on Lab grown Fancy-Colored Melee Diamonds and their Identification.

In the second session the focus turned to topics related to coloured gemstones. Chaired by Dr. Taijin Lu, the session started with a talk on Effect of Treatment on Lattice Phonon Spectrum in Natural Corundum by Mr. Mahesh Gaonkar, GII after which Dr. G. Cavalieri of CIBJO gave detailed information on Responsible Sourcing in the Coloured Gemstone Sector: The Development of a Harmonised Due-Diligence Standard. Dr. Thanong Leelawatanasuk spoke on the importance of Colour Grading of Pigeon Blood Ruby, Royal Blue & Cornflower Blue Sapphire.  He illustrated different aspects with recent experiences in GIT, Thailand.  Dr. Wenxing Xu, SSEF, Switzerland, explained in detail her studies of Origin Determination of Kashmir Sapphire highlighting the importance of chemical and isotopic analysis LA-ICP-MS, Zircon inclusions and their Raman spectral studies in this regard and how they could be compared to those from Sri Lanka. It was followed by an informative talk on African Gem Deposits: Some Important Case Studies by Prateek Jhaveri.

The second day was held at the IIJS, Goregaon and were attended by many members of the trade. The introductory session had talks by Bakul Mehta, Sanjay Shah, Convener, Diamond Panel, GJEPC and Mehul Shah, Vice President, BDB.

The first panel on Trade related matters and concerns which was anchored by Pranay Narvekar and had Shreyance Shah, Sabyasachi Ray, Suresh Shah, Ramazan Alak Mete and Neel Pethe as panellists They addressed various issues arising out of the lab production of diamonds and various treatments of gem stones for colour enhancement. The discussions centered mainly around possible effects on the trade due to entry of lab grown diamonds.

The second panel on QA/QC, and lab standardisation was anchored by Samir Joshi with Nirupa Bhatt, Ramazan Alak Mete, Natasha Coutinho, Dr. Sumed Prasongpongchai, Dr. A V R Reddy and Dr. Cavaleiri. It was pointed out that the advent of gem grade lab grown diamonds and their entry into markets, warrants high quality / high standard reporting to maintain consumer confidence. Discussions centred around availability of standard equipment in the labs, methods and methodologies of measurement, need for standard equipment, internationally certified reference materials and calibrated procedures. Discussions started with a detailed presentation by the anchor and members answered focused questions.

Panel 3 discussed State of the Art Detection Methods and Certification Requirements. It was anchored by Dr. M D Sastry with Dr.Taijin Lu, Ann Van Spaendonk, Dr. Thanong Leelawatanusuk and Dr. Wenxing Xu as panel members. All-round development in electronics & solid state detectors, availability of lasers and evolution of computers have resulted in developing a large number of instrumental methods, the panellists explained.

Both the panels concurred on the need to develop expertise with matching instrumentation and methodologies.