GIA to Grade Synthetic Diamonds

June 28, 2006

GIA to Grade Synthetic Diamonds

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) announced today it will begin issuing synthetic diamond grading reports for the first time.

The decision is a response to the growing number of gem-quality diamonds produced in a laboratory, as well as jewelers' resulting need to be able to distinguish and disclose the difference between synthetic and natural diamonds.

The report will provide a description of the synthetic stone, including color, clarity, carat weight and cut information when applicable, GIA said in a release. The report will be yellow and feature a different design than the GIA Diamond Grading Reports used for natural diamonds, so industry people and consumers alike will instantly be able to identify the diamond as synthetic.

GIA also said it would laser-inscribe the word "synthetic" and the GIA report number on the girdles of the synthetic diamonds it grades.

"GIA is a public benefit institution and, as such, has an official obligation to protect the public by providing the critical information needed to make informed decisions," says Ralph Destino, chairman of GIA. "As a nonprofit entity serving the public trust, it is simply the right thing to do."

Tom Moses, senior vice president of GIA Laboratory and Research, says the grading process will help GIA further study synthetics, and that the institute plans to release its findings.

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