De Beers is in the process of installing its Automated Melee Screening devices at sightholders’ facilities located in key diamond trading centers around the world: Antwerp, Mumbai, Tel Aviv and Hong Kong.
London--Sightholders Tasaki and Rosy Blue, along with Kiran Gems in Mumbai, are among the first to begin using the new Automated Melee Screening device created by De Beers Technologies UK to separate natural melee from lab-grown. 

The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR), a De Beers-owned and -operated laboratory in Antwerp, said this week that the first installation of and training on the AMS devices took place at the end of June at Tasaki and Rosy Blue in Japan. 

Though De Beers previously said it planned to lease the devices, they now are being sold to sightholders for $55,000 with a three-year support and maintenance charge of $10,000 a year. 

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De Beers Technologies UK developed the AMS devices, which screen round colorless or near-colorless diamonds as small as one point and up to 0.20 carats to determine if they are natural diamonds. 

The device can handle as much as 500 carats of melee at once and automatically feeds the stones, table-down, into a measurement station, meaning that the device can run unattended once the stones are loaded. 

The machines can screen about 360 stones per hour. Following testing, the diamonds automatically are dispensed into bins indicating if they are natural diamonds, need further testing or are not diamonds at all.

Following the installation of the machines at Rosy Blue and Tasaki, De Beers is beginning a phased rollout of the AMS devices to sightholder facilities in Antwerp, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv, with IIDGR technicians working in all these locations to install the devices and train sightholders on how to use them. 

Plans call for the diamond miner and marketer to install an AMS device at the IIDGR in September, making its melee screening available to the trade more broadly.  

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