May 21, 2024 2:08 pm
Top GIA Fellow States Science Unable to Identify Diamond Origins

According to Dr. James Shigley, a distinguished research fellow at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), it is unlikely to identify a diamond’s origin based on its physical characteristics. This is because diamonds lack distinctive visual features and their trace elements are difficult to analyze due to low concentration levels. Despite efforts to study diamond chemistry, it is challenging to pinpoint where the stone originated on Earth.

During a recent episode of Rapaport’s GEMTalks series sponsored by the GIA, Dr. Shigley discussed origin determination for colored gemstones and lab-grown diamonds, along with addressing questions from the audience. He emphasized that while identifying the origin of colored gemstones is more feasible, using physical characteristics to determine a diamond’s origin solely from studying a polished stone is currently impossible.

The GIA has been successful in confirming the origin of diamonds through Diamond Origin Reports by matching polished stones to their rough of known provenance. This process is more akin to a chain of custody and has a success rate of around 90%. However, studies have been limited in size and range of locations, making it difficult to determine the possibility of origin identification in the future.

The GEMTalks LinkedIn Live session hosted by GIA showcases insights from industry experts like Dr. Shigley who have extensive knowledge in gemology. By providing valuable information on gem and jewelry trade practices, the GIA aims to protect consumers and support the global industry through research, education, and laboratory services. To stay informed about the latest news and analysis on the diamond and jewelry industry, sign up now for updates from Rapaport’s GEMTalks series sponsored by GIA.

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