GE POL: High Temperature, High Pressure Involved

September 29, 1999

GE POL: High Temperature, High Pressure Involved

General Electric partially unlocked the secret of its GE POL diamonds this week by confirming to the Gemological Institute of America that the diamonds' color is improved in a high-temperature, high-pressure process.

Researchers at GIA have been studying GE POL diamonds for several months trying to learn about the process, further details of which remain proprietary.

The diamonds are distributed by Pegasus Overseas Ltd., a subsidiary of Lazare Kaplan International, New York City. In an effort to avert worries, LKI announced in March it would offer the diamonds. But the secretiveness of the process raised concerns and yielded speculation on what it involves. "This effectively closes the door on the notion that a deep-cleaning mechanism is involved, at least as fully as we understand the process at this time," says GIA President Bill Boyajian.

Though GE confirmed GIA's suspicion that high-temperature, high-pressure is involved, Boyajian is reluctant to use the word "treatment" to describe the process. "We are trying to remain neutral, though we believe the industry will label this a treatment. But a high-temperature, high-pressure process is not part of normal processing as we know it; for example, as we understand processing in the bleaching or cleaning of a pearl. We are entering new territory, and GIA has to research and understand more."

- by Robert Weldon, G.G.