GIA Launches Diamond Origin Service

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has begun accepting submissions for a new service providing consumers with source verification for diamonds.

Leading manufacturers sent the first polished diamonds to the GIA’s Source Verification Service in early July, the institute said Wednesday. GIA-graded diamonds with confirmed origin information will be available to consumers when the initial submissions are returned and as more manufacturers join the program, the organization explained.

An independent auditing firm will vet all cutters before they enter the program. The auditors will confirm the company has the ability to track a diamond from receipt of the rough through the entire manufacturing process. The GIA will evaluate all participating firms regularly to ensure they are continuing to adhere to the guidelines, it noted.

Initially, the GIA will accept only polished natural diamonds with verified source documentation, including Kimberley Process (KP) certificates and invoices from vetted manufacturers. It will add lab-grown diamonds to the service in the near future. Consumers can access the information through the GIA’s online Report Check service, it added.

“GIA’s new service provides diamond-source information to consumers as quickly as possible,” said its CEO, Susan Jacques. “The GIA Source Verification Service is ready to provide verified diamond-source information to address increasing consumer demand and government interest in transparency and traceability across the supply chain.”

Source: Diamonds.net

GIA Recalls Diamonds over Treatment Query

Color grading at the GIA Carlsbad diamond grading lab.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has asked customers to return a number of colored diamonds for reassessment, suspecting that a treatment might have gone under the radar.

The organization will reevaluate certain diamonds with “green or greenish” in the color grade, a spokesperson told Rapaport News last week. The recall applies to reports it issued between January and June 2020. The GIA declined to reveal how many stones were affected or to provide their report numbers.

“Recent research and investigation into potential treatment methods caused us to request the return of the subject diamonds for further analysis,” the spokesperson said.

The institute informed customers about the issue around six weeks ago, and is in the process of collecting and reassessing the diamonds. Some stones could get an “undetermined” ruling, while others may require further testing, the spokesperson explained. Many diamonds had already come back with their natural-color statuses confirmed, market sources said. The GIA bases its conclusions on the “state of knowledge and criteria in place at the date of examination,” it added.

Sources estimated that the number of reports under review was close to 100 and could be much higher. The GIA did not specify the nature of the possible treatment. The case is unrelated to the recent discovery of a treated fancy-color diamond on which the institute reported in the latest edition of its academic journal, Gems & Gemology.

“GIA has been investigating the cause of color in diamonds and other gem materials for nearly 70 years,” the spokesperson continued. “Among GIA’s earliest area of research was determining origin of color of green diamonds, which remains even today one of the most difficult areas of gemology. The research process is dynamic, and we recently discovered new information that may provide new insights about the origin of color of the group of diamonds that we have requested to be returned for review.”

The GIA is already dealing with a wider grading backlog following a rebound in market activity in recent months. The organization is operating with as much capacity as local Covid-19 rules allow, using weekends, second shifts and overtime, the spokesperson said.

Source: Diamonds.net

GIA Considers Shutting Antwerp Lab

GIA Grading Report

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) plans to close or heavily scale back its Antwerp operations following a review of its business in the Belgian city.

“Based on global and local market conditions and activity, and the impact of the global pandemic, the GIA conducted an evaluation of the long-term viability of GIA Belgium,” a spokesperson for the organization told Rapaport News on Friday. “As a result of that evaluation, we have the intention to close or significantly reduce the GIA laboratory and offices in Antwerp, which will likely result in a reduction in staff.”

The GIA invested in its Antwerp business as recently as 2018, expanding the office’s research and traceability services and adding diamond grading to its capabilities — though it also shuttered its Dubai branch the same year.

The decision about the “closure or near-closure” in Antwerp is not final, the GIA noted, and the group is consulting with staff members in Belgium.

Around 50 people could lose their jobs if the move goes through, according to Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.

Belgium’s diamond industry has struggled in recent years amid a shift in manufacturing work to India and a reduction in bank lending to the sector. The coronavirus has intensified the situation: The country’s polished exports for 2020’s second quarter slid 71% year on year to $813.2 million as global demand plummeted and shipping routes shut down. The GIA lab closed for almost two months during the pandemic.

The laboratory will maintain its current operations in the meantime, meaning clients will still be able to submit and pick up stones, the GIA stated.

Source: Diamonds.net

GIA to Give Full Color, Clarity Grades for Lab-Grown

GIA grader

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is launching a new digital report for lab-grown diamonds that will feature specific color and clarity grades. The organization, which currently only offers loose descriptions and grade ranges for synthetics, will introduce the new reports early in the fourth quarter, it said Tuesday.

The service will incorporate the GIA’s two existing lab-grown reports. Its full reports — available for stones weighing 0.15 carats and larger — will include a 4Cs assessment and plotted diagrams showing clarity and proportions. Its lower-priced “dossiers,” which are available only for stones ranging from 0.15 to 1.99 carats, will just include the 4Cs assessment and the proportions diagram. The lab will also offer specific color and clarity grades for lab-grown colored diamonds.

The GIA began grading synthetic diamonds in 2007, and has since aligned the service more with what it offers for natural stones. Until last year, it only provided descriptions of color and clarity, such as “colorless” and “slightly included.” However, from July 1, 2019, it started indicating the range of traditional color and clarity scores to which those descriptions referred — such as “D to F” and “SI1 to SI2.”

The institute has now moved a stage further, arguing that enhanced transparency will benefit consumers and the trade.

“Natural- and laboratory-grown diamonds coexist today, accepted by both consumers and the trade,” said CEO Susan Jacques. “Ensuring consumers’ trust with GIA’s reliable, independent and authoritative grading reports for all diamonds benefits the public and the entire gem and jewelry industry. We believe the growth of laboratory-grown diamonds will expand the overall diamond market and bring in new customers.”

The reports will only be available in a digital format and will feature an updated design that distinguishes them from their natural-diamond counterparts. The California-headquartered organization will continue to laser-inscribe the stones with the words “laboratory-grown” alongside the GIA report number to further ensure differentiation from naturals. The documents will still carry a statement that the graded stone may have undergone post-growth treatment to alter its color, the GIA pointed out.

The GIA is keeping the same fee structure as for natural-diamond reports since the grading work is the same, it noted.

Source: Diamonds.net