Nirupa Bhatt: GIA iD100™ Will Give The Trade Confidence In Their Diamonds
NIRUPA BHATT, GIA managing director for India and the Middle East, touches upon various issues – from synthetic detection to the institute’s dedicated efforts to continuous education and research in the field of gems and jewellery. She discusses at length about the new synthetic-detection instruments presented at the recently concluded IIJS.
Tell us more about the new synthetic detection services that were offered by GIA at IIJS.
Lab-grown diamonds are neither new to the industry nor to GIA. GIA has been studying them since synthetic diamonds were first created in the 1950s. In recent years, laboratory-grown or synthetic diamonds have become more available. With the growing availability of synthetic diamonds in the marketplace, full disclosure and confidence in knowing what you are buying is now more important than ever. GIA has developed a sophisticated and easy-to-operate desktop instrument to screen for these stones – loose as well as mounted. The GIA iD100™ combines advanced spectroscopic technology with GIA’s decades of diamond and gemstone identification research to distinguish natural diamonds from synthetic (HPHT and CVD) diamonds and simulants. This new instrument will give the trade – including retail jewellers – the ability to have immediate confidence in their diamonds.
In March this year, GIA uncovered an unusually large number of undisclosed synthetic diamonds mixed in with natural melee diamonds. How is GIA spreading awareness about identifying synthetics?
The possibility of undisclosed synthetics – particularly melee size – is a concern for the industry across the globe. In December 2016, GIA introduced the Melee Analysis Service that separates natural diamonds from simulants and potentially synthetic or treated diamonds. The service is for round D-to-Z diamonds ranging from 0.90 to 4.00 mm in diameter (approximately 0.005 ct to about 0.25 ct). We’re now offering complimentary pick-up and drop-off for stone parcels between the GIA Mumbai laboratory and locations within Mumbai (BDB), as well as Surat, Jaipur, New Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Thrissur and Chennai. As part of GIA’s commitment to educate the trade, the institute conducts knowledge seminars in more than 60 locations across the country to address concerns about the detection and full disclosure of synthetic diamonds.
GIA’s India operations have been expanding year-on-year. Could you quantify the business growth in volume terms?
Being a mission driven institute, GIA is dedicated to continuous education and research in the field of gems and jewellery. Our business growth is thus quantified in terms of information and knowledge imparted through our initiatives. GIA reaches out to industry members and conducts educational seminars across various sectors of the trade, encouraging them to learn and engage more. Recently, we introduced the ‘Retail Sales Associates’ training programme, an orientation organised for the staff of various retail jewellery outlets across India, to learn about the GIA 4Cs, the GIA International Diamond Grading System™ and GIA grading and identification reports. We are responding to the industry’s demand for independent and unbiased grading services and offering world-class gemmology and design classes.
At JCK, GIA talked about telling the story of a diamond. What is this new service, GIA M2M™, and how does it work?
GIA is excited to introduce a service that gives consumers a new way to learn their diamond’s history. GIA M2M™, a digital storytelling platform and app, provides a close look into all the chapters of a diamond’s story. Working directly with miners and manufacturers, GIA can examine rough and record unique characteristics. Then, when the faceted diamond is returned for grading, the lab can confidently match the faceted diamond to the original rough. While some programmes rely solely on supply chain auditing to trace diamonds, experience enables GIA to scientifically link rough to polished diamonds. With grading information from GIA and customised text, video and images from everyone that touches a diamond along its journey, M2M gives consumers the authentic, personalised experience needed for complete confidence in their diamond purchase.