Differentiating between natural diamonds and synthetic diamonds is an essential aspect of diamond grading and identification. The World Gemological Institute (WGI) employs various methods and techniques to determine whether a diamond is natural or synthetic. Here are some common checks conducted by WGI:
- Visual Examination: Trained gemologists at WGI perform a thorough visual examination of the diamond using magnification tools like microscopes and loupes. They scrutinize the diamond’s internal features, growth patterns, and external characteristics to identify any indications of synthetic origin.
- Inclusion Patterns: Natural diamonds often exhibit unique inclusion patterns formed during their growth process. WGI gemologists examine these inclusions to identify natural features such as feathers, crystals, or growth lines. Synthetic diamonds, on the other hand, may lack such natural inclusion patterns or exhibit features like metallic flux or synthetic growth structures.
- Spectroscopy: WGI employs advanced spectroscopic techniques, such as UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy, to analyze the diamond’s absorption and transmission properties. These spectroscopic tests can reveal certain characteristics that distinguish natural diamonds from synthetic ones.
- DiamondView Imaging: WGI may use specialized imaging equipment like the DiamondView to examine the diamond’s fluorescence and phosphorescence under ultraviolet light. This imaging can provide insights into the diamond’s origin and help differentiate between natural and synthetic diamonds.
- Laser Inscription Analysis: If the diamond bears a laser inscription, WGI examines its content, location, and other characteristics to verify its authenticity and trace it back to the corresponding grading report or certificate.
- Expert Knowledge and Research: WGI gemologists stay updated with the latest advancements in diamond synthesis techniques and conduct ongoing research to enhance their understanding of synthetic diamond characteristics. This expertise enables them to detect and differentiate natural diamonds from synthetic ones.
It’s important to note that while WGI utilizes various methods and expertise to identify natural and synthetic diamonds, the identification process is continuously evolving as synthetic diamond technologies advance. WGI follows industry-standard practices and guidelines to ensure accurate and reliable identification of diamonds.