GE, LKI Agree to Laser Inscribe Diamonds

April 28, 1999

GE, LKI Agree to Laser Inscribe Diamonds

After sparking controversy over a secret, undetectable "process" that allegedly improves color and brilliance of diamonds, General Electric and Lazare Kaplan International agreed to laser inscribe all diamonds processed in this manner. Read related story.

All GE-processed diamonds, which LKI will market through its subsidiary Pegasus Overseas Ltd., will include the inscription "GE POL" on their girdles to identify the process, which LKI says improves the color, brilliance and brightness of diamonds without reducing their all-natural content. The Gemological Institute of America says it will note such inscriptions on its reports with the following statement: "GE POL is present on the girdle. Pegasus Overseas Ltd. states that this diamond has been processed to improve its appearance by General Electric Co."

The companies' agreement to disclose the process follows an April 16 meeting in New York between principals of GE and LKI, hosted by GIA President Bill Boyajian. At the meeting a preliminary protocol and interim plan were adopted. "Discussions were candid and open," says Boyajian. "We were pleased with the recognition that GE and LKI placed on the industry and public concerns regarding identification and disclosure of GE-processed diamonds."

GIA will conduct a research study to understand the process, the nature of which GE still won't disclose, and explore identifying characteristics of GE-processed diamonds by tracking and building data on stones submitted to the GIA Gem Trade Lab. Findings will eventually be published in Gems & Gemology.

- by Robert Weldon, G.G.