By Lenore Fedow
Circa joined forces with De Beers to screen the diamonds in pre-owned jewelry, separating natural from lab-grown.
New York—De Beers Group will collaborate with secondhand jewelry and watch buyer Circa to screen its pre-owned diamonds, De Beers announced Thursday.

Circa said it will use De Beers Group Industry Services’ (the lab formerly known as the International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research) SynthDetect machine in its offices to ensure the diamonds in its jewelry are natural and not lab-grown.

“By partnering with De Beers Group, the pre-eminent name in diamonds, and by using its cutting-edge diamond detection equipment in our locations, our buyers are able to assure sellers that their diamonds are natural,” Circa CEO Oren Schenider said in a press release.

Schneider added the equipment will allow Circa to identify, and avoid purchasing, lab-grown diamonds at the time they are submitted.

The move brings DeBeers indirectly back into the secondhand market—and into contact with its consumers—after the shuttering of the International Institute of Diamond Valuation, its own buyback program, in April.

As part of the deal with Circa, the two companies will hold joint educational consumer-facing events in the United States, Asia and Europe to give customers a first-hand look at how the detection process works, and offer advanced diamond appreciation courses.

When asked Thursday if its deal with Circa should be seen as an indication that lab-grown diamonds have become more prevalent on the secondhand market, De Beers spokesman David Johnson said the company sees no evidence of that.

He said the lab-grown diamond market is around 1 percent of the size of the natural diamond market, adding that man-made diamonds “do not endure in value like natural diamonds and this discourages the development of a secondhand market.”

Circa has 12 physical locations, including offices in New York, Los Angeles, Madrid and Hong Kong. 

Editor’s note: This story was updated post-publication to correct an error. Previously, the story described Circa as a seller of pre-owned jewelry and watches, but the company is a buyer of pre-owned jewelry and watches.

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