The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) launched a new service which tracks the origin of a selection of polished diamonds, which offers retailers a new method of being able to uncover a stone’s history. Since the project is only two years in development, GIA's M2M™ (Mine to Market) program is restricted and is not yet able to provide a complete solution to determining a diamond’s provenance. “If you just gave me any polished diamond, I can’t tell you what mine it came from,” says Matt Crimmin, GIA’s vice president of laboratory operations.
It works by manufacturers sending rough in sealed bags, with the appropriate documentation, to the GIA lab. Each stone goes through a data collecting process where the morphology, spectroscopy, and crystal growth structure are collected, followed by GIA issuing a serial number. Once this is completed, the rough is returned to the manufacturers. Once the rough is cut, the polished stones are resubmitted to GIA’s grading lab, along with their original serial number. Each stone is then examined to see if the characteristics of the polished diamond match that of the rough. This process allows GIA to track the origin of a stone more accurately, however with nearly 10 percent of the stones “the results will be ambiguous,” Crimmin says, and GIA will not make a definitive determination.
The consumer-oriented app, available for ios and Android, is “a digital storytelling platform and app, which provides a close look into all the chapters of a diamond’s story—from the mine, through the cutting process, and to the market,” says Crimmin. At this time, submitting rough to the GIA is free, although retailers will have to pay to unlock the full features the app.
More information regarding the M2M program will be presented by Crimmin at a seminar taking place at JCK Las Vegas, on Sunday, June 4, from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.