By Hannah Connorton
The De Beers Group of Companies' International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research in Surat.
London--De Beers is expanding the reach of its three grading and research centers, launching services in the Far East, Middle East, India and Europe and opening it to the general trade by taking in non-Forevermark diamonds.

Founded in 2008, the International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR) offers a range of diamond grading services and specializes in developing verification instruments--the IIDGR is where De Beers’s automated melee tester was developed, a machine designed to sort lab-grown diamonds from mined ones.

The IIDGR is headquartered in Antwerp, but also has facilities in Surat, India and in Maidenhead in the United Kingdom.

Following a successful pilot program in the Far East, the IIDGR now will provide grading services in the Far East, Middle East, India and Europe from the aforementioned labs.

In addition, the institute’s services now are available “more generally,” meaning for non-Forevermark diamonds, according to De Beers spokesperson David Johnson. Previously, upwards of 95 percent of the diamonds graded by the IIDGR were Forevermark, which is De Beers’s diamond brand.

The grading will be available for diamond of all sizes, colors, shapes and qualities, provided they are natural and untreated stones.

Johnson said currently, De Beers has no plans to launch the IIDGR’s services in the United States, but it is gradually increasing the reach of the center into new markets to assess if demand is in line with what De Beers has seen in pilot testing.

The progression of this reach will be taken into account before De Beers makes decisions about launches in additional markets, he said.

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