GIA In­au­gu­rates New York Lab & Ed­u­ca­tion Fa­cil­ity

Solitaire - - SPECTRUM -

The Ge­mo­log­i­cal In­sti­tute of Amer­ica (GIA) board of gov­er­nors for­mally in­au­gu­rated the In­sti­tute’s new lab­o­ra­tory and ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­ity in the In­ter­na­tional Gem Tower in mid May. In ad­di­tion to dis­cussing reg­u­lar busi­ness, the board fo­cused on the chal­lenges posed by un­prece­dented de­mand for GIA’s iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and grad­ing ser­vices, and grow­ing in­dus­try con­cerns about syn­thetic and treated gem­stones.

To ad­dress the el­e­vated ser­vice time re­sult­ing from high de­mand for GIA lab­o­ra­tory ser­vices, the gov­ern­ing body of the pub­lic-ben­e­fit in­sti­tute di­rected GIA’s man­age­ment to ex­am­ine the po­ten­tial for adding a di­a­mond grad­ing fa­cil­ity in Su­rat, the cen­tre of In­dia’s di­a­mond man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try, as well as af­firm­ing its sup­port for GIA’s ex­panded hir­ing pro­gramme and other mea­sures. The board also in­creased fund­ing for con­tin­ued re­search into the de­tec­tion of syn­thetic and treated gems, and for fur­ther in­no­va­tion to speed the di­a­mond grad­ing process.

The Board iden­ti­fied three fac­tors con­tribut­ing to the ex­cep­tion­ally high de­mand for GIA grad­ing re­ports: • Many banks ap­pear to be re­quest­ing grad­ing re­ports to sub­stan­ti­ate loans

• Con­cerns about undis­closed syn­thetic di­a­monds have made ef­fec­tive screen­ing, es­pe­cially of smaller stones, much more im­por­tant

• An in­crease in con­sumer de­mand in de­vel­op­ing mar­kets for smaller stones with GIA grad­ing re­ports

Speak­ing af­ter the meet­ing, chair of the GIA board of gov­er­nors John Green said, “Over the past 18 months, GIA has seen a dra­matic in­crease in de­mand for lab­o­ra­tory ser­vices, es­pe­cially for di­a­monds weigh­ing less than half carat. To ad­dress the de­mand-driven longer ser­vice times, par­tic­u­larly in the in­creas­ingly im­por­tant In­dian man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor, GIA will study the fea­si­bil­ity of ex­pand­ing our lab­o­ra­tory pres­ence to Su­rat, bring­ing grad­ing ser­vices that much closer to our clients.”

The board in­creased fund­ing for GIA’s re­search pro­grammes. The in­sti­tute’s team of 38 full-time re­search sci­en­tists, in­clud­ing 20 with doc­toral de­grees, fo­cuses its ef­forts on de­vel­op­ing the tools and tech­niques to iden­tify syn­thetic and treated di­a­monds, coloured stones and pearls. The re­search team is work­ing to ex­pand the ca­pa­bil­ity of GIA’s Di­a­mondCheck sys­tem and to de­velop tech­nol­ogy and pro­cesses to fur­ther ac­cel­er­ate the grad­ing process.

Ad­dress­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the New York gem and jew­ellery in­dus­try gath­ered to mark the open­ing of GIA’s new fa­cil­ity in the city’s Di­a­mond District, Green said, “This fan­tas­tic new space brings to­gether the three pil­lars of GIA – our com­pre­hen­sive, long-term re­search ef­forts, our in­dus­try-lead­ing lab­o­ra­tory ser­vices, and the most recog­nised gem and jew­ellery ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes in the world – all in one fab­u­lous lo­ca­tion.” GIA moved its lab­o­ra­tory into the 80,000-sq-ft, three-floor fa­cil­ity in midMarch; gem­mol­ogy and jew­ellery de­sign classes started in the new lo­ca­tion on May 27.

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