De Beers Cuts Price on Melee Screening Device

GradingMar 02, 2017

De Beers Cuts Price on Melee Screening Device

In addition to being cheaper, the diamond screening machine is also faster and better, De Beers said.

The second-generation AMS machine is “the most technologically advanced, efficient and cost-effective melee diamond verification instrument available,” IIDGR President Jonathan Kendall said.

Hong Kong--De Beers has dropped the price of the device designed to automatically batch screen diamond melee by nearly half.

The second-generation Automated Melee Screener, or AMS, is priced at $45,000, compared with $85,000 ($55,000 plus a three-year, $10,000-a-year support and maintenance charge) for the first-generation version introduced to the market in 2014.

De Beers said the AMS2 also is about 10 times faster than its predecessor and has a substantially lower referral rate, meaning that fewer diamonds need further testing. A company spokeswoman said the referral rate on the AMS2 is less than 0.5 percent, compared with 2 percent on the first version.

Here’s how the AMS and AMS2 devices work.

A user can place up to 500 carats of melee in the machine at once. After the diamonds are inserted, the machine automatically feeds the stones, table down, into a testing station.

Once the stones are tested, they are dispensed into one of five bins:
-- Pass: The stone is not lab-grown or a simulant (meaning CZ, etc.);
-- Refer: More testing is needed;
-- Refer Type II: The stone has a low concentration of nitrogen and further testing is required as it might be lab-grown;
-- Non-diamond: The stone is a simulant or lab-grown; and
-- Purge: This bin is for when the user needs to empty out the machine because, for example, they put in the wrong packet of diamonds.

The AMS device can test colorless or near-colorless diamonds as small as one point and as large as 0.20 carats and was developed to separate man-made melee from natural stones in response to growing industry concerns about undisclosed lab-grown melee in the supply pipeline.

RELATED CONTENT: 5 Takeaways on the Lab-Grown Diamond Market

De Beers’ International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research developed the second-generation AMS device. The IIDGR is a De Beers-owned facility that develops diamond testing equipment and grades stones, and has developed the other products De Beers uses to screen for synthetics, the DiamondView, DiamondSure and PhosView.

When it initially opened, the lab graded only Forevermark stones but it began accepting all diamonds in February 2016. Those who want to send diamonds to the lab can visit the contact details area of to inquire about the service they want.

The IIDGR has facilities in Maidenhead, United Kingdom; Surat and Antwerp.

De Beers unveiled the AMS2 at the International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show this week in Hong Kong.

It will

be be available for purchase by others in the trade in June, with sightholders receiving priority. Interested parties can contact Kate Rigby at

Companies that had the original AMS machine include Kiran Gems, Tasaki, Rosy Blue and Stuller.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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