December 5, 2005
GIA Finds Counterfeit Reports
The Gemological Institute of America Laboratory discovered two counterfeit GIA Diamond Grading Reports in Antwerp and is taking steps to alert the trade, pointing out the security features in authentic GIA reports and how to verify the reports.
Tom Moses, senior vice president of the GIA Laboratory and Research, said this is the latest instance of counterfeit GIA reports that have been seen over the years. In 2003, for example, GIA uncovered a scam in which fraudulent GIA reports were used to help sell clarity-enhanced diamonds, mainly on the Internet. After GIA coordinated with international law enforcement agencies, the scheme ended with one of the perpetrators being arrested in Italy.
"The two reports discovered in Antwerp purported to represent high quality diamonds," said Moses. ³Both were more than three carats, and the report information indicated they were D color and Internally Flawless. We were told that a buyer became suspicious and had one of the diamonds tested. It turned out to be high-pressure/high-temperature annealed.²
Moses explained that after receiving a copy of that report, "We confirmed that GIA had issued a report for this diamond, but that its color on the original report was E and its clarity was VVS1. In addition, our normal screening and testing process had determined that the diamond was HPHT annealed. The diamond left our laboratory with full disclosure of the treatment on the report, and an inscription on its girdle indicating it had been HPHT processed. That inscription had obviously been removed. We were told that both diamonds were purchased in a pawn shop in Asia."
Moses said the GIA Laboratory has previously encountered some instances in which original GIA reports were deliberately mismatched with different diamonds with similar measurements and slightly different grades. "The intent apparently was to deceive buyers, who presumably would not examine the diamond closely enough based on a quick inspection, and the 'wrong' diamond would be accepted as the diamond described on the original report," said Moses.
Moses pointed out that GIA goes to great lengths to incorporate strong security measures in its grading reports. "We want to make the industry aware of this and to remind everyone in the diamond trade that authentic GIA reports include a number of important security features."
All of GIA's Diamond Grading Reports and other laboratory reports incorporate security features that exceed document industry security guidelines. These include a hologram, security screen, microprint lines, chemically sensitive paper, and other proprietary security components. To view an example of a GIA Diamond Grading Report or GIA Diamond Dossier® visit www.gia.edu and click on GIA Gem Trade Laboratory, then Reports & Services.
"We ask that anyone who comes across a suspected counterfeit report inform us as soon as possible," said Moses. Anyone who has a question about the authenticity of a GIA Diamond Grading Report, or the validity of the information contained therein, may contact the GIA Gem Trade Laboratory by telephone at (760) 603-4500 or fax (760) 603-1814. Report numbers can be verified through these contacts.
Moses also said, "GIA takes these violations very seriously and cooperates with law enforcement agencies worldwide to help prevent these activities. In addition, we provide whatever support we can to diamond bourses and trade organizations to prevent these frauds."
GIA report information can be verified over the phone by a grading service account representative. The report data can be read, and the GIA representative will confirm that the information is consistent with the GIA record. If is does not match the GIA file the client will be informed immediately. The GIA Laboratory also offers a verification process that allows the holder of an original GIA report the option of submitting the report with the diamond to confirm that the information on the report matches the accompanying diamond. Alternatively, the original grading report can be updated, meaning that the diamond is submitted to the laboratory and is fully graded again, including the all of the screening steps for treatments.
"GIA invests heavily in conducting our own investigations to seek out and prevent these fraudulent activities," Moses said. "Our assistance has led to the successful prosecution of people who have violated the integrity of GIA reports, and we are dedicated to maintaining this commitment to further support the industryıs and the publicıs confidence in GIA."