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.


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

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.


World’s top jewellery maker Pandora ditches mined diamonds

Pandora jewellery
Pandora jewellery

Pandora, the world’s biggest jeweller, is launching a collection using exclusively lab-made diamonds in the US and Canada as part of the company’s strategy to eliminate mined gems and create more affordable products with less associated emissions.

The Danish company, which plans to make its operations carbon neutral within three years, said the collection is the first one crafted with 100% recycled silver and gold.


“This brings greenhouse gas emissions of the collection’s entry product – a silver ring with a 0.15 carat lab-created diamond ($300) – down to 2.7 kg CO2e, which is equal to the average emissions of a t-shirt,” Pandora said.

The flagship product, a one carat lab-created diamond set in a 14 carat solid gold ring and sold for about $1,950, has a footprint of 10.4kg CO2e, which is less than the average emissions of a pair of jeans.

The jeweller, best known for its charm bracelets, has committed to craft all its pieces from recycled silver and gold by 2025.

Pandora launched its first Pandora Brilliance collection using only man-made diamonds in the UK last year.

“Lab-created diamonds are just as beautiful as mined diamonds, but available to more people and with lower carbon emissions,” chief executive officer Alexander Lacik said in the statement.

World’s top jewellery maker Pandora ditches mined diamonds
The Danish company, best known for its charm bracelets, already doesn’t include mined diamonds in most of its pieces. (Image courtesy of Pandora.)
While producing diamonds is energy-intensive, Pandora said its gems would be made using only renewable energy.

Since 2011, when prices peaked thanks to China’s younger shoppers, diamonds have faltered. Lab-grown stones, initially priced confusingly close to the real thing, posed a challenge.

Top diamond makers reacted to the new kind of diamonds, widely embraced by young consumers as they look identical to mined stones, by launching a joint marketing campaign.

Under the motto “Real is Rare”, the Natural Diamond Council (formerly the Diamond Producers Association), which groups the world’s leading diamond companies, launched a series of film-like spots targeting millennials — those born between 1981 and 1996.

Failing that, they begun selling man-made diamonds themselves. Anglo American’s De Beers created the Lightbox brand to sell alternative diamonds for a fraction of the price of the mined ones.

Ethical concerns
Despite the establishment of the Kimberley Process in 2003, aimed at removing conflict diamonds from the supply chain, experts say trafficking of precious rocks is still ongoing.

Miners and world famous jewellers including Tiffany & Co, have come up with innovative ways of certifying their stones as ethically mined, mostly based in blockchain technology.

In 2020, the New York-based company began providing customers with details of newly sourced, individually registered diamonds that trace a stone’s path all the way back to the mine.


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.”


All GIA Reports to Be Digital by 2025

The new digital reports

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) plans to convert all of its paper reports to digital within the next three years, beginning with its Diamond Dossier in 2023.

The digital reports, which it will link to an app, will be more secure than their paper counterparts, the GIA said Tuesday. They will be paired with a new inscription-matching service, called GIA Match iD. This feature captures a diamond’s inscription image and links the stone to its GIA report using artificial intelligence (AI).

As each report category is introduced in digital form, the printed reports will be discontinued, the GIA told Rapaport News. However, some specialty services, such as the Monograph reports and notable letters, will continue to be available in printed versions.

“Digital reports…build on our decades of innovation and move our consumer protection mission forward,” said GIA CEO Susan Jacques. “This important transformation allows GIA to offer consumers a truly modern and engaging experience while helping our industry progress toward a more sustainable future.”

Starting in January 2023, the new Diamond Dossier service will offer a fully digital report, including the 4Cs; the app, which enables retailers and consumers to view, save and share information for their diamonds; and the Match iD instrument.

The elimination of GIA paper reports will save 20 tons of paper and 18.5 tons of plastic each year, the GIA said. It will also reduce transportation-related carbon emissions, the institute added.


Record Lab-Grown Stone Turns Up at GIA

16.41ct labgrown Diamond

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) recently graded the largest known synthetic diamond to be created using chemical vapor deposition (CVD), it claimed Wednesday.

The stone, produced by Shanghai Zhengshi Technology, is a princess-cut, 16.41 carat, G colour, VVS2 clarity lab grown diamond. Spectroscopic readings the GIA performed confirmed the stone had no post growth treatments to improve the color, it noted.

“The first CVD diamond I examined in 2003 was a 0.23 carat pear shape, with clear brown colour,” said Wuyi Wang, GIA vice president of research and development. “This 16.41 carat laboratory grown diamond demonstrates the advances in CVD growth technology. This achievement has important implications for the many scientific and industrial applications for high quality laboratory grown diamonds.”

The previous record for a synthetic diamond grown using CVD was held by an emerald cut, 14.60 carat, F colour, VS2 clarity diamond, which was produced in India and graded by the International Gemological Institute (IGI). Meanwhile, the record for the largest lab grown diamond the GIA has examined was in 2019 for a cushion cut, 20.23 carat, fancy vivid yellowish orange, VS2 clarity stone made using High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT).