The International Gemological Institute (IGI) recently analyzed and graded a 6.18 carat round brilliant-cut stone submitted for grading as a natural diamond, then identified as a lab-grown diamond. The stone was sent for verification purposes and came with a report from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) stating it was a natural diamond, D color, flawless clarity, and triple-excellent cut, reinforcing the growing importance of secondary review from gemological institutes.
“This is the largest lab-grown diamond ever certified by a leading gemological laboratory, where the sole purpose was to pass off a lab-grown stone as natural," said Bob Van Es, managing director IGI Thailand & Hong Kong. “At IGI, we have seen a huge increase in double verification demand, which means before going for a major purchase, consumers like to receive confirmation that the stone matches the original report.” IGI believes the stone was cut and polished to match an existing GIA report, then inscribed with a fake laser number to “purposely and easily mislead consumers”.
Last month, the GIA released a statement confirming it had seen an increase in the number of lab-created diamonds submitted for verification with counterfeit laser inscriptions referencing natural diamond reports. “The majority of the newly-submitted laboratory-grown diamonds have higher clarities, and their measurements and weights were almost identical to the GIA report referenced by the counterfeit inscriptions,” the organization observed.
Roland Lorie, IGI's CEO, emphasized the importance of double verification of diamonds – even those with laser inscriptions and reports. “A second opinion ensures the integrity of diamonds through detailed analysis, which is an extra, necessary buffer that protects consumers from purchasing misrepresented gemstones,” he said.