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IGI Launches in the Heart of the Diamond Industry

Institute Opens State-of-the-Art Lab in Surat

Apr 15, 2010 1:11 AM   By IGI
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Press Release: The International Gemological Institute (IGI), the world’s largest independent laboratory for testing and grading gemstones and fine jewelry and India’s only ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited laboratory, announced the launch of its state-of-the art facility on Varacha Road in Surat — the heart of the diamond industry.


The laboratory was inaugurated on April 14, 2010 by Roland Lorie, the chief executive officer (CEO) of IGI Worldwide, who is recognized as an industry leader and expert. The event attracted more than 400 attendees, including prominent industry leaders from Mumbai.


Varda Shine, the managing director of the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), the world’s largest rough diamond supplier, joined the celebration and wished IGI success. IGI honored her with the "First Lady of the Diamond World" Award and expressed gratitude for her presence on this auspicious occasion.


Shine said, “India has seen a constant growth in demand for diamond jewelry over the last ten years. With the Indian wedding business valued at $20 billion, more and more consumers are moving to diamond buying. IGI setting up an international certifying facility in Surat, the diamond hub of the world, will certainly help boost consumer confidence.”


After opening the first international gemological laboratory in India, IGI has again taken the initiative and established operations within the world’s largest diamond manufacturing center. The intent is to be situated closer to the manufacturers and polishers and extend technical expertise in the art of polishing and grading diamonds.


With established full-service labs in Mumbai's special economic zone (SEZ), Kolkata and New Delhi, as well as a satellite lab in Kerala, the industry has  appreciated IGI’s valuable contribution to diamond, gemstone and jewelry certification over the past 11 years in India.


The IGI laboratory in Surat is spread across 10,000 square feet in the centrally located area of Varacha Road. With this sixth move in India, IGI and the diamond industry can now work in even closer proximity and IGI’s newest laboratory and educational services will provide much-needed convenience, as well as a smooth and hassle-free, one-stop solution for diamond companies to certify diamonds and educate the trade in Surat.


Speaking at the opening,  Lorie said, “There are more than 4,500 diamond polishing factories in and around Surat and with over 450,000 polishers, it is considered the main diamond manufacturing center in the world. We have launched our new facility as a step in the direction of bringing Surat closer to its final customers: Americans, Europeans and Asians.


Mark Brauner, the co-CEO of IGI Worldwide, said, “After achieving success in other Indian markets, IGI has now set up a state-of-the-art testing laboratory along with IGI’s School of Gemology in Surat. Living in Hong Kong makes me realize the importance of this Surat lab. There has been such an improvement in the quality of the work and this makes Surat the first provider of high-cut diamonds to China, Hong Kong and most of the Southeast countries."


Jerry Ehrenwald, the CEO and president of IGI North and South America, said, "This new lab also has positive implications for IGI in the Americas. We strive to think locally and act globally, which has allowed us to naturally grow and expand and connect with a worldwide community.”


Tehmasp Printer, the managing director of IGI India, added, “In 1997, IGI first came to India with a vision to expand and create awareness regarding certification in the Indian market. In 2010, we are launching an international laboratory with a full-fledged diamond grading and education facility in the diamond manufacturing hub, Surat. It is our endeavor to bring greater sophistication and fineness in the polishing of diamonds to our discerning customers in Surat.”


Services Offered at IGI’s Surat Facility


Loose Diamond Certification

IGI’s expert gemologists will certify loose diamonds ranging .10 carat and up, using state-of-the-art equipment combined with technical expertise of over 35 years to consistently assess the carat weight, clarity, color and cut of a diamond.


IGI School of Gemology

Educational programs that will be offered in Surat include a Polished and Rough Diamond Grading Program, a Colored Stone Identification Program and a Jewellery Design Program. IGI will also offer customized courses for diamond houses, retailers and jewelers on topics such as "Know Your Diamonds" and "Retail Development Program."


Through the accreditation received from ISO/IEC 17025:2005, IGI facilities have been able to provide extensive technical expertise and gemological procedure in its certification services for the trade. Today, in the midst of multitudes of gemological laboratories, IGI stands out as the only laboratory to have accredited ISO/IEC 17025:2005 in several of its labs.


About IGI

The International Gemological Institute (IGI), the world’s largest independent laboratory for testing and evaluating gemstones and fine jewelry, was established in 1975 in Antwerp and is located in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, Hong Kong, Mumbai, the Seepz Zone, Kolkata, New Delhi, Tel Aviv, Dubai, Bangkok, Tokyo, Thrissur, the Dominican Republic and Surat. IGI is an ISO-accredited, worldwide organization. For additional information, please visit

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Tags: China, Consumers, DTC, Dubai, Hong Kong, IGI, India, Jewelry, Laboratories, Labs, Manufacturing, Polishing, Surat
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