For nearly six years now, we have been analysing every single certified diamond we sell above 0.30ct. This analysis is designed to be complementary to GIA or AGS lab certificates, and includes a photo of the diamond, an Ideal-Scope or AGS ASET image, OGI Firetrace output, a hearts image and a couple of videos. All of this analysis can be seen for any one of our Crossfire or Signature Series diamonds.
Over the years, we’ve used a number of machines to analyse our diamonds, but recently, we purchased and received the IS Capture machine made by Lexus in India, which has proven to be a vast improvement over the systems we previously used.
Above: The IS Capture system.
In the past, we’ve used a number of tools to analyse diamonds, including:
Trinocular Microscope: Whilst this produces pictures that clearly show inclusions, taking photographs is difficult and time consuming. Plus, many times there is a reflection of the tweezers on the ends on the diamond.
Above: Our old way of taking photographs – it shows inclusions well, but also the reflection of the tweezers.
Holloway Ideal-Scope Capture: This is actually a reasonable, not to mention cheap way of taking Ideal-Scope photos. The downside is that it again, it time consuming and the light used requires batteries that need changing on a regular basis to get the best results.
AGS ASET Camera: We bought this is 2008, and whilst it was a pretty good machine to start with, there were a few major design flaws, such as:
- The aperture (the size of the hole for the camera) was way too small.
- The glass can get scratched, leading to poor quality photographs.
- The actual camera is low quality, and produces grainy pictures. Ours is currently out of order due to a fault with the camera cord.
Above: The current state of our ASET camera.
The IS Capture is a vast improvement over these systems, and provides a true rapid photographic system for taking diamond photos in daylight as well as Ideal-Scope, ASET and hearts and arrows photos. The camera used, which is a Canon 1100D takes photos in high resolution, which allows for much higher quality photos than we had previously taken.
- It cost over A$8,000 – probably to pricey for most wholesalers and retailers as you would need to analyse at least 30 diamonds a week to get much benefit from it.
- The name is really, really bad and probably doesn’t help with sales.
- There is no cover, so it must be cleaned constantly.
As you can see, online diamond trading continues to evolve. New technologies and processes will appear, which will make buying diamonds and fine jewellery online a more attractive proposition to more and more people.