De Beers Technologies South Africa invests in research and development to maximise the value and life of our diamond mines. For more than 35 years, it has led the way in diamond mining technology. It develops, sells and supports specialist systems and techniques to automate mining processes, monitor process and equipment performance remotely, and facilitate marine mining.
We maintain a world-leading diamond research and technological development centre in Maidenhead, Berkshire, in the United Kingdom. Our scientists and engineers – specialists in electronics, design, mechanics and imaging technology – research and develop new methods for verifying and sorting diamonds. They also produce technology that ensures all synthetics and treatments can be detected. Our technology is in use at all our sorting operations and those of our partners.
We've been using automated systems to enhance our hand-sorting capabilities since 1972. Today, our machines provide unparalleled operating efficiency, flexibility and consistency, with a particular focus on simplifying and speeding up processes. Some of our machines operate at speeds of eight diamonds per second to produce assortments in categories of size, shape, colour and clarity.
The International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIDGR) was established by The De Beers Group of Companies to provide a premium service and proprietary equipment to the diamond industry. Based in London, Antwerp, and now Surat, and run by the world’s top diamond experts, the IIDGR offers a range of services and specialises in the development of industry-leading verification instruments.
IIDGR is the leader when it comes to research capabilities and to knowledge of, and expertise in, undisclosed synthetics. The best way of using this expertise is by building awareness of synthetics, their growth methodologies, how they can be detected and the tools and services available.
One of our main strategies for 2015 is to meet the challenges in the grading business head-on, using our technologies to maintain accuracy and consistency in all operations to help maintain industry and consumer confidence in this critical aspect of the diamond pipeline.
Recognising that it is vital that we endeavour to maintain the trust and confidence of consumers, both now and in the future, has led to substantial investment of both time and resources to launch the research and development of diamond verification instruments. These include the DiamondSure, DiamondView, DiamondSure, DiamondPlus and the Automated Melee Screening, or AMS, devices. These instruments play a crucial role in enabling the successful detection of all synthetics, simulants and treated diamonds.
Element Six is the global leader in the design, development and production of synthetic diamond material (or ‘supermaterials’) for industrial purposes. It is made up of two businesses: Technologies (wholly owned by De Beers); and Abrasives (60 per cent owned by De Beers, with Umicore, a major materials group, owning the remaining share).
The company has primary manufacturing facilities in Ireland, China, Germany, South Africa and the UK.
Visit the Element Six website