GIA Expands Fraud Checks to All Labs

GIA says it has expanded its new verification service – aimed at combating “cloned diamond” fraud – to all its labs.

The Report Confirmation Service was launched last month in New York to identify lab growns being submitted for regrading as natural diamonds.

GIA says the service is now available at all locations. It will accept walk-in and courier submissions, will turn around loose diamonds in as little as 15 minutes, and will, initially, make no charge.

The service is available for GIA-graded diamonds with and without inscriptions. An original GIA cert is helpful but not essential.

An increasing number of lab growns are being fraudulently submitted for re-grading. They are cut to match the specifications of natural diamonds that have already been graded and inscribed with either with a GIA number (genuine or fake).

“Combatting this fraud is vital to protecting the public and ensuring their confidence in gems and jewelry – this is GIA’s mission,” said GIA president and CEO Susan Jacques.

Source: IDEX

GIA Opens New Lab in Dubai

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has launched a new laboratory in the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).

The location opened on February 19, the GIA said Tuesday. The lab will provide services only for clients operating in Dubai’s free trade zones and will be unable to accept submissions from other areas in the emirate, the GIA explained. However, in the near future the location will be able to accept intake from additional countries.

“The establishment of the GIA DMCC laboratory…adds significant value not only for our free-zone members but also for the wider industry, particularly when it comes to speeding up cycle times,” said Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman and CEO of the DMCC.

The new Dubai lab will grade diamonds ranging in color from D to Z and weighing up to 3.99 carats, the GIA added.


Lab Urges Caution over Surge in Undisclosed Colored Synthetics

Gemological Science International (GSI) has issued a warning to the trade after coming across a “notable increase” in jewelry set with pink, yellow and brown lab-grown diamonds posing as natural.

The jewels, which have been submitted to the lab for grading, often contain synthetic stones mixed in with natural colored diamonds, Debbie Mazar, president and cofounder of GSI, explained Tuesday. Many of the undisclosed synthetics were type IIa, with a single nitrogen atom, and ranged in size from melee to 1 carat.

Additionally, some of the lab-grown diamonds were intentionally cut to mimic natural ones, GSI noted. The GSI observed several with fractures, pinpoint clouds, polish-overs and distinct brown grain lines, features found in natural diamonds, which would potentially enable the fraudulent stones to pass standard gemological evaluation, GSI said.

“The challenge arises as most jewelry-screening equipment in the market is designed to screen white, near-colorless diamonds,” Azar explained.

The advanced technology in diamond growth is contributing to increased success by growers in replicating natural diamonds more and more, GSI added.

GSI’s warning comes on the heels of several from other labs. In December, Italian grading lab Gem-Tech cautioned that it had encountered a number of lab-grown stones circulating bearing fraudulent inscriptions from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) for natural stones. Last month, the International Gemological Institute (IGI) examined a 6.01-carat lab-grown with a GIA laser inscription for a similarly cut natural, while the GIA reported it was taking steps to combat the recent influx of lab-growns bearing fraudulent inscriptions from the lab by offering same-day report verification.

Source: Rapaport

GIA Helps in Recovery of Stolen Diamonds Worth Nearly $475K

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) identified two diamonds, each over 4 carats, that had been stolen from a home in Colorado.

The stones were taken together with four other pieces of jewelry in June 2023, the GIA said Monday. The combined total of all six pieces is over $475,000.

A wholesale diamond dealer, who was uninvolved in the crime, sent the diamonds to the GIA for grading. When the GIA matched the stones to their reports, it found they had been reported stolen, and alerted detectives from the Boulder County Sherriff’s Office (BCSO), who were then able to use that information to make an arrest in the case, the institute explained.

“GIA often receives requests from law enforcement to help them recover GIA-graded diamonds that are reported lost or stolen,” said Christina Yates, associate general counsel responsible for this aspect of GIA’s work with law enforcement.

The GIA has trained agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Customs Service and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in multiple countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Belgium, Dubai, Israel and Hong Kong.

Source: Rapaport

Italian Grading Lab Warns of Synthetic-Diamond Scam

Italian gemological lab Gem-Tech has warned the trade that a number of lab-grown diamonds circulating in the country are being sold as natural.

Three stones were submitted to the lab accompanied by certificates from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) stating they were natural, Gem-Tech said last week. Gem-Tech weighed the stones and found them to be nearly identical to those recorded on the GIA certificates. The stones also had laser inscriptions with a visible GIA logo that matched those the lab had seen before from other GIA-graded stones, Gem-Tech explained.

However, further investigations indicated the stones had been fraudulently paired with the grading reports, while the inscriptions appeared to be forgeries.

When the Italian lab exposed the diamonds to ultraviolet light to detect fluorescence, it discovered that the stones were inert, whereas the reports described the level of fluorescence as “faint.” The diamonds were then checked using spectrophotometric analysis and displayed a distinct greenish coloration and other characteristics commonly found in synthetics created using chemical vapor deposition (CVD).

Once the lab checked the report numbers against the GIA website, it realized they were issued for other, natural, stones that were just slightly different than those submitted to Gem-Tech.

“Gem-Tech has seen this happen before,” the lab said. “It would not be the first time that malicious individuals obtained reprints of authentic reports and paired them with stones other than those described.”

Although there were only three stones submitted, Gem-Tech believes there might be more, it told Rapaport News.

“The client who submitted them for identification reported that these stones were not the only ones being offered,” the lab added. “Other dealers have mentioned that these three synthetic diamonds, identifiable by their report data, have been presented in other parts of the country.”

Source: Rapaport

GIA Lays Off 151 Employees at Carlsbad Headquarters

GIA Lays Off 151 Employees at Carlsbad Headquarters

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has cut some 20% of the workforce at its Carlsbad, California, headquarters amid a prolonged slowdown in the industry.

In late July, the lab let 151 employees go, primarily in its laboratory, as well as some in corporate positions, Stephen Morisseau, the GIA’s director of communications, told Rapaport News Sunday. The lab made the layoffs as a result of a drop in the number of diamonds submitted for grading.

“Many organizations in the global gem and jewelry sector are experiencing a downturn due to economic conditions affecting the global gem trade,” Morisseau explained. “Due to those economic conditions, there has been a decline in demand for GIA’s gem identification and grading services, which led to the difficult decision to reduce staffing.”

The layoffs will bring the GIA’s total workforce in Carlsbad to 600, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune, which was the first to report the story. Globally, the lab has approximately 3,500 employees.

“The reductions will not affect our ability to advance our important consumer-protection mission, nor to meet the needs of our clients,” Morisseau added.


GIA Reintroduces Paper Certs after Backlash

GIA (Gemological Institute of America)

GIA has bowed to pressure and says it will re-introduce paper certificates, at no extra cost, as of Sunday (9 April).

The move to digital-only Diamond Dossiers, for stones up to 1.99-cts, provoked widespread criticism from retailers, who said some customers were refusing to buy a diamond without one.

In a message to clients, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) said it “did not adequately anticipate the potential difficulties of adopting the digital-only GIA Diamond Dossier report.

“We appreciate your candid and constructive feedback. After much consideration, we have decided to return to printed GIA Diamond Dossier reports beginning April 9.”

All diamonds currently at GIA labs, or submitted from Sunday, will be returned with a printed GIA Diamond Dossier report just like those issued before the introduction of the digital-only report in January.

It will also issue, at no cost, a printed certificate for diamonds that were graded without one from January until now.

GIA introduced digital-only certificates as the first step towards phasing out all printed reports within three years, saving tons of paper and plastic.

Source: IDEX

Diamond Trade Pressures GIA to Rethink Digital Dossiers

Gemological Institute of America

Diamond dealers and manufacturers have complained to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) about its new paperless dossier reports, claiming they reduce security and are less popular among retailers.

The reports — available for 0.15- to 1.99-carat, D- to Z-color diamonds — have caused consternation in the industry since the GIA switched to digital-only versions at the beginning of this year.

GIA customers who submit a diamond receive the stone back in a small envelope that shows the key specifications and a unique QR code that links to an online report. Although the girdle gets inscribed, other people can easily copy the code and associate it with a different diamond, according to traders who spoke with Rapaport News in recent weeks.

Suppliers are also seeing pushback from retailers that are accustomed to selling diamonds and jewelry with physical certificates. Using the digital documents is especially difficult with mounted jewelry, an official in the Indian diamond industry noted, as reading the girdle is difficult or impossible.

“In January, they started doing this digital certification,” he told Rapaport News last week on condition of anonymity. “By now, some of the retailers are getting the stones and they’re having concerns, and customers are returning stones that don’t have a [paper] certificate.”

India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) in Mumbai have raised the issue with the GIA. A representative of the GIA fielded questions from members at the Diamond Dealers Club in New York in a recent address, while delegates discussed the matter at the World Diamond Congress, the triennial meeting of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), which took place in Israel last week.

“Concerns were expressed as to the security of the digital certificates as well as the desire of retailers and consumers to receive a printed certificate,” a WFDB spokesperson told Rapaport News on Sunday. “It was discussed that for a certain period of time, the GIA might provide both digital and printed certificates to those who request them. The presidents of the bourses who participated in the congress asked the WFDB to present their concerns to the GIA.”

A GIA spokesperson said the organization had “heard from clients — manufacturers, brokers, dealers and retailers — about their concerns regarding the digital GIA diamond dossier reports and how integrating the digital reports into their processes could disrupt their businesses.”

“We appreciate the constructive feedback and are considering how we can best address their concerns within the context of our mission to protect consumers and ensure their trust in gems and jewelry.”

The switch to digital dossiers is part of a plan to make all GIA reports paperless by 2025.

Update, April 4, 2023: Information about a GIA visit to the Diamond Dealers Club in New York has been added to this story.


GIA Launches The Digital Diamond Dossier

Digital GIA Diamond Dossier
Digital GIA Diamond Dossier

The start of 2023 marks a significant milestone in the digital transformation of the global diamond industry – the launch of the fully digital GIA Diamond Dossier, the most widely available diamond grading report in the world. The GIA Diamond Dossier is available for D-to-Z diamonds from 0.15 to 1.99 carats without colour treatments. Printed GIA Diamond Dossier reports issued before January 2023 remain valid.

Tom Moses, GIA Executive Vice President and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer, said, “The launch of the digital GIA Diamond Dossier report starts the conversion of all GIA’s laboratory reports to a modern digital format. This important change improves data security, offers efficiencies across the supply chain and reduces our reliance on paper.”

The first digital GIA Diamond Dossier report was issued at the GIA laboratory in Ramat Gan, Israel, on Monday, 2nd January 2023. More than 33 million printed GIA Diamond Dossier reports were issued since the introduction of the service in 1998.

Pritesh Patel, GIA’s Chief Operating Officer, added, “In 2025, when all GIA reports are digital, retailers and consumers will find greater convenience and a more immersive experience. Eliminating printed reports is an important advancement, reducing the impact of using, shipping and storing the nearly 40 tons of paper and plastic that go into printed GIA reports each year.”

The secure digital GIA Diamond Dossier is available in the reimagined GIA App or on computers, tablets and phones through the robust and secure online GIA Report Check Service and the GIA advanced application programming interface (API) for commercial users. The digital report service includes a Report Access Card with the report number, a QR code linking to the digital report and 4Cs information to embed into receipts, invoices and e-commerce sites.

The new GIA App is widely available for Apple and Android devices. The Android app for China is in development and will be available at a later date. The GIA Match iDTM inscription matching service is expected to be available in the first half of 2023, accessible exclusively through the reimagined GIA App.

Printed GIA Diamond Dossier reports issued before January 2023 remain valid.

AGS Laboratories to Integrate with GIA

AGS CEO Katherine Bodoh and GIA president and CEO Susan Jacques
AGS CEO Katherine Bodoh and GIA president and CEO Susan Jacques

The American Gem Society (AGS) will close its laboratory operations at the end of this year, with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) taking on elements of the organization.

AGS Laboratories’ intellectual property (IP), technology, research staff and Las Vegas facility will become part of the GIA, the two organizations announced Wednesday. AGS Laboratories will continue to provide services until the end of 2022 and will contact clients with details of the transition, it said.

The nonprofits, both founded by Robert M. and Beatrice Shipley in the 1930s, will combine their gemological research efforts. The amalgamated team will “develop innovative products” to help consumers and the trade, encompassing light-performance research and a “science-based” fancy-cut grade standard, they said.

“This consequential agreement brings AGS and GIA even closer, driving our future with 90 years of shared history and elevating our founders’ vision,” commented AGS CEO Katherine Bodoh in a joint statement.

The GIA will create an endowment to support AGS and its membership. They did not provide further financial details. The collaboration will also help advance AGS’s retailer programs and support more member education, for example at the annual AGS Conclave, the statement continued.

The AGS Ideal grading report will be available from GIA as a digital-only supplement to GIA reports for eligible D to Z natural and laboratory-grown round and fancy-shape diamonds, incurring an additional cost of $25. GIA clients will be able to request these extra reports from January 2023.

In an information sheet for customers, AGS noted that GIA was responsible for inventing the 4Cs of diamond grading while AGS “created light performance and ignited a discussion on sparkle.” For instance, the AGS is one of the few major labs to offer a cut grade for fancy-shape diamonds.

“By harnessing each other’s strengths to move forward boldly, consumers will be better protected, and we will ensure the longevity of the Shipleys’ vision,” said GIA president and CEO Susan Jacques.

Correction, October 20, 2022: An earlier headline incorrectly stated that the GIA was taking over AGS’s grading division. In fact, the AGS Laboratories grading operations will close, with the GIA taking over certain other elements of the organization, including research.