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.”
HRD Antwerp recently discovered a fake inscription on a polished diamond the lab had received for grading.
The 1.50-carat stone had a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) laser inscription corresponding to a natural grading report, HRD said Monday. The accompanying report listed the diamond as natural, with no color treatments. The stone was further identified as type IIa, meaning it contained virtually no elements other than carbon. However, during testing, the Antwerp lab found that the diamond had undergone High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) color treatment.
Although the diamond’s carat weight, color and cut precisely matched the GIA report, HRD noticed inconsistencies with clarity characteristics that were quite similar to those listed in the certification and could easily be mistaken during a standard loupe inspection, it explained.
“Detailed microscopic investigation by an experienced grader revealed that this was not the same diamond described in the report,” HRD said. “The clarity characteristics did not completely overlap. Since these characteristics are a unique fingerprint of the diamond, the inscription was conclusively identified as false. The diamond at hand had been intentionally inscribed with a fake laser inscription to deceive the customer.”
Correction: The story has been updated to clarify what was disclosed in the report and the findings of HRD.
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.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) will scale back its Antwerp operations from January, but has decided not to shut the laboratory entirely.
“Today, we notified clients of the GIA laboratory in Antwerp that, as of January, the laboratory will offer consolidated services with reduced staff,” a spokesperson told Rapaport News Monday. It will continue to provide client consultations, rough-diamond analysis for the GIA Diamond Origin Report, and some follow-up services and inscriptions for D-to-Z diamonds up to 3.99 carats, he added.
In August, the GIA revealed preliminary plans to close or significantly trim its laboratory and offices in the Belgian city, citing market conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic.