Grading

GSI Spots Synthetic Sapphire Melee Set in Jewelry

GradingJun 14, 2019

GSI Spots Synthetic Sapphire Melee Set in Jewelry

Lab President Debbie Azar called the discovery “atypical.”

One of the man-made white sapphires recently found by GSI under natural light (left) and phosphorescing. GSI said blue phosphorescence in a lab-grown white sapphire is unusual and is what indicated to graders that the stones needed additional testing. (Photo credit: GSI)

New York—Gemological Science International recently found man-made sapphire melee set among natural diamonds in a piece of jewelry.

In a news release sent out in late May, GSI said it received multiple diamond fashion pendants for screening and in one of the pendants, graders found near-colorless lab-grown white sapphires ranging in size from .01-.10 points.

Lab co-founder and President Debbie Azar called the setting of these stones in a natural diamond pendant a “very atypical” use of melee-sized man-made white sapphire, noting that the lab has never seen them in this size set into a piece of jewelry. (Usually, when it detects a stone that is not diamond in a piece like this, it is a lab-grown diamond.)

GSI tests and screens loose stones, melee parcels and jewelry for lab-grown diamonds and simulants like cubic zirconia (CZ), and has found both in all three.

RELATED CONTENT: GSI Opens Office Dedicated to Lab-Grown Screening
But, Azar said, the undisclosed lab-grown diamonds are by far the bigger issue.

“We would say it is a very big problem that just won’t go away. What is more, lately we encounter new, much more sophisticatedly grown diamonds, which require more efforts and tools to identify.”

GSI is not the only lab to note the advancing capabilities of diamond growers.

In the spring issue of Gems & Gemology, researchers at the Gemological Institute of America wrote about finding a natural diamond topped with a layer of CVD-grown diamond, the second to come through the lab in two years.

“This could be a new type of product entering the market,” they wrote. “Earth-grown diamonds with synthetic diamond grown on the surface require extra scrutiny … Careful inspection still reveals the presence of synthetic indicators, which expose the true nature of the diamond.”

Azar said GSI is planning to release articles in the near future regarding some of the atypical cases it has seen.

“These new, as well as more typical undisclosed lab-grown diamonds, are found by our scientists in all our labs globally,” she said. “It’s not limited to one geographical location. It’s a global issue.”
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

MajorsOct 22, 2021
These Jewelry Companies Are Among the World’s Most Valuable Brands

That’s according to Interbrand, which just released its 2021 list of 100 Best Global Brands.

WatchesOct 22, 2021
New Citizen Campaign Shines Light on Solar Power

The “Purposeful Power” campaign will raise money for Everybody Solar, which provides solar power to nonprofits.

CollectionsOct 22, 2021
The Artistry 2022 Catalog Is Out

It’s full of bestsellers to stock up on.

Brought to you by
Buying a Diamond is More Than Knowing the 4C’s

Buyers may be excited about online diamond deals, but there are uncertainties surrounding the authenticity and clarity of the diamonds.

CollectionsOct 22, 2021
Piece of the Week: Nouvel Heritage’s Mood Necklace

The brand’s signature bangle gets a necklace companion.

Weekly QuizOct 22, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of Oct. 18-22, 2021.
Take the Quiz
SurveysOct 21, 2021
10 Retailers on Why They Expect the Diamond Boom to Continue

However, their optimistic outlook comes with a hint of caution due to a number of factors out of their collective control.

SourcingOct 21, 2021
This Coffee-Table Book Is the Perfect Present for Diamond Lovers

The tome offers an appreciation for the stone through the voices of celebrities, designers, and other diamond lovers.

Brought to you by
Viva Italia! Why the JCK Italian Pavilion Was a Sight Worth Seeing at JCK Las Vegas

One of the highlights of the JCK show in Las Vegas has always been the Italian Pavilion, buzzing with excitement and elegance.

ColumnistsOct 21, 2021
Squirrel Spotting: It’s a Diamond Moment!

It’s no doubt diamond sales are booming, but why? Peter Smith explores the complicated reasons why consumers want the stones right now.

×