Ask Yourself – Is it The Real Thing?

The recent announcement by IGI (International Gemological Institute) of the discovery of large quantities of undisclosed synthetic diamonds is no surprise to the AnchorCert Gemmological Laboratory at The Birmingham Assay Office who have been preparing for this eventuality for the past ten years.

Advances in technology, the rising price of high quality natural diamonds and the profits to be made from the supply of synthetics have made such developments inevitable for some time. AnchorCert was set up to provide protection to both the legitimate trade and to consumers and it has always been recognised that this can only be delivered by expert gemmologists using a battery of state of the art equipment. Chief Executive Michael Allchin says: “The arrival of synthetics in large volumes was absolutely predictable and AnchorCert are totally prepared. Our huge financial investment in equipment such as the Raman spectrophotometer, UV-Vis and FTIR, and the continued investment in training and developing our expert gemmologists means we are fully equipped to identify such stones.
UKAS Accreditation of all our tests adds independent confirmation of AnchorCert’s competence and consistency.”

The gems discovered by IGI were created by Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) but there are other ways of creating synthetic diamonds which are equally advanced. No expert could detect these with the naked eye, nor even the basic equipment found in every gem lab, as the stones have the same chemical composition as natural diamonds. It is only by using sophisticated equipment to check the growth structure and spectrum created by the stones that they can be properly identified.

Synthetic gemstones are a perfectly legitimate and acceptable alternative to natural ones, as long as they are properly disclosed and priced accordingly. An AnchorCert report protects honest traders at every level of the supply chain as they can sell and buy both in good faith and complete confidence that the stones they are buying and selling are what they purport to be. The warning form IGI is certainly the first of many and AnchorCert are well prepared to protect the consumer and the trade from the damage this could cause to their business.

AnchorCert is the only facility in the UK that has the expertise and equipment to identify increasingly sophisticated enhancement treatments and synthetic gemstones AnchorCert is the first Gemmological Laboratory to receive accreditation to ISO 17025 from UKAS in the UK. The AnchorCert service is undertaken by highly qualified Gemmologists and Diamond Graders producing independent, expert reports.

AnchorCert offers a Same Day and Next Day Service providing its growing number of customers with a fast and reliable grading and reporting service. AnchorCert has also developed an innovative Gemstone Weight Estimator APP for iPhone/iPad and Android phone and tablet. For more information and enquiries call 0871 423 7922 or email

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