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World

Machines to police synthetic diamond fraud

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Opening sequence

World

Machines to police synthetic diamond fraud

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COMING UP:Machines to police synthetic diamond fraud

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Transcript

00:00:01
>> When dealing with diamonds, one can never be too sure. That's why at De Beer's it's not just humans checking the gems anymore, but machines too.>> Synthetic is a man made product, it's not a gem, it's not a beautiful product, it's not about love and affection and emotion.
00:00:20
And it is not unique and it's not mysterious. And that's everything a diamond is.>> It take's about 3 billion years to make a natural diamond, but just three weeks for a synthetic one. To the naked eye though,they look the same. So how do you tell them apart?
00:00:36
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's all about how the stone appears under UV light. Here we have a natural diamond. It's dark blue in color and has a regular structure. But if I click on a synthetic one, you can see it's much lighter and has these block-like structures, which is down to its irregular growth.
00:00:53
At the moment, synthetic diamonds make up less than 1% of the market, but production is growing, and it's clear the industry's concerned.
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much so, that over the last two decades, De Beers has invested 30 million pounds on this technology. There's no clear demand for synthetics. Our concern is undisclosed synthetics that are pushed into the natural pipeline.
00:01:17
And that's our concern and what we're determined to make sure that both the trade and then consumers can always be confident they're buying a natural diamond.>> Synthetics do have their uses in diamond-tipped drills, for example, and surgical tools. But when it comes to putting rings on fingers, girls only have one best friend.