GIA Revises Lab-Grown Reports to Meet FTC Guides, Adds Country of Origin Reports

Laboratories
01/04/2019 11:28

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is updated its grading reports for laboratory-grown diamonds to align with the revised Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Jewelry Guides, and as of  July 1, 2019 will drop term 'synthetic' when referring to diamonds created in a lab. 

The new GIA Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report will feature the same visual representation of the 4Cs descriptions for color, clarity and cut as GIA’s grading reports for natural diamonds. The updated reports will continue to use descriptive terms for color and clarity, for example, Near Colorless and Very Slightly Included, as shown on the scales. The report will also include a QR code linking to GIA’s online Report Check service with more information about the growth processes of laboratory-grown diamonds. All detected clarity treatments will be disclosed. The comments section will include the statement: This is a man-made diamond produced by CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) or HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) growth processes and may include post-growth treatments to change the color.

“Over the past few years, there has been an incredible advancement in the technology by which laboratory-grown diamonds are made," said GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques. With the increased availability of man-made diamonds in commercial qualities, sizes and quantities, and with greater consumer awareness of and desire for this product, GIA is making these changes to align with the revised FTC Guides and changes in the market. Our mission is to ensure the public trust in gems and jewelry; these updated reports will give consumers buying laboratory-grown diamonds confidence in their purchases.” The updated reports will be available beginning July 1, 2019. Any GIA Synthetic Diamond Report issued since January 1, 2018, may be returned and exchanged for the new Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report at no cost.

Earlier in March, HRD Antwerp announced it would now be grading lab-grown diamonds using the same color and clarity scales it applies to natural stones. In its new laboratory-grown grading reports, HRD Antwerp has switched from having just five color grades - colorless, near colorless, faint, very light and light - to the same 13 that it uses for natural diamonds - D to M, plus N-O, P-R and S-Z. The Belgian grading lab is also switching from five clarity grades - free of inclusions (FI) to included (I) - to the same 10 applied to mined diamonds, starting with loupe clean (LC) and ranging to P3 (pique 3).

GIA Introduces New Diamond Country of Origin Reports

Just a few days prior to the announcement about the laboratory-grown reports, GIA said will introduce the GIA Diamond Origin Report service which will confirm the country of origin of polished diamonds. To be eligible for this new service, the original rough diamonds and resulting polished diamonds must be submitted to GIA for analysis so that they can be matched to each other and to confirm the origin information provided by the participating mining company. The new report will include the country of origin, a full 4Cs quality analysis of each diamond and a report number inscription. More information about the country of origin and diamond formation will be available for each Diamond Origin Report in GIA’s online Report Check service, accessible at GIA.edu or through the QR code printed on each report.

“In recent years, there has been a growing demand for transparency and traceability in the diamond industry. Consumers want to know the origin of products and their socio-economic and environmental impact,” said Susan Jacques, GIA president and CEO. “The GIA Diamond Origin Report fits perfectly with GIA’s mission of educating and protecting the public, and ensuring their trust in gems and jewelry. Consumers purchasing one of Mother Nature’s greatest treasures, a natural diamond formed more than a billion years ago, will now know more about their diamond’s journey and the positive impact it has on the communities in the countries where diamonds are discovered.” GIA engaged with mining companies, manufacturers and retailers to identify their traceability needs and conducted consumer research which showed that 69% of U.S. bridal consumers prefer to buy a diamond with an origin story.

“When eligible polished diamonds are submitted to GIA for grading, they can be matched to the original submitted rough using physical measurements and other scientific data,” said Tom Moses, GIA executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer. “If the data from the polished diamond and the rough match, GIA will confirm the country of origin provided by the mining company, and include that information on the Diamond Origin Report.” GIA has already processed thousands of rough diamonds ranging from 0.15 carats up to more than 100 carats. A growing number of miners, manufacturers and retailers are participating in the Diamond Origin Report program, including Alrosa, which joined the program in October 2018.

The new GIA Diamond Origin Report service will be supported by digital and print marketing – including high definition images of the original rough and the resulting polished diamond – allowing retailers to convey the unique story of each diamond to the consumer. GIA will provide descriptive brochures explaining the discovery and transformation of rough crystals to polished diamonds, and relating the social and economic benefits of the industry in each country.