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Apr 11, 2022 5:09 AM   By The Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
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Distinguishing natural diamonds from laboratory-grown stones has been difficult for jewelers. Until now.

The Growing Popularity of Laboratory-Grown Diamonds

Laboratory-grown diamonds are increasingly available in greater quantities, higher quality and new colors at price points that many find attractive. It is no wonder then that laboratory-grown diamonds are a growing presence in the marketplace, with more and more being sent to GIA laboratories for evaluation and grading.

These diamonds play an important role in the marketplace. However, laboratory-grown and natural diamonds have vastly different origin stories, and consumers purchase each with different considerations. Whatever their preference, consumers deserve to know what they’re purchasing. It is with consumer protection in mind that we, as the most trusted organization in diamond research and diamond grading, strive continually towards advancements in diamond detection techniques and technology.

The Challenge of Distinguishing Laboratory­ Grown from Natural Diamonds

Recently, GIA encountered several instances of laboratory-grown diamonds inscribed with report numbers belonging to natural diamonds. These laboratory-grown diamonds had 4Cs grades and measurements closely resembling those listed on accompanying natural diamond reports. Driven by our mission to protect consumers, GIA performs detailed and thorough analysis and overwrites these counterfeit inscriptions with Xs, issues a GIA Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report, and inscribes the stone with the new report number and the phrase ‘Laboratory-Grown.’

These occurrences demonstrate the need for reliable ways to identify laboratory-grown diamonds. Impossible to differentiate from natural diamonds with the unaided eye, they typically require advanced testing in gemological laboratories to determine their identity.

Identify Diamonds In-Store with the GIA iD100®

In response to the needs of the trade, GIA created the GIA iD100 — a convenient desktop instrument that can distinguish natural diamonds from laboratory-grown diamonds, diamond simulants and some treated diamonds in under two seconds with 100% accuracy.

With this small yet powerful instrument, you can test diamonds, both loose and mounted, from the convenience of your own store. It can also be used for demonstrations to increase client confidence.

Highly adaptable, the GIA iD100 is able to test colorless to near-colorless, blue-to-green and brown diamonds, as well as pink diamonds if the GIA iD100 Pink Diamond Software Upgrade is added. The Pink Diamond Software Upgrade utilizes the advanced spectroscopic technology in the device combined with GIA’s diamond identification research to distinguish natural pink diamonds from laboratory-grown (HPHT and CVD) diamonds, simulants and natural diamonds whose pink color is introduced by treatments involving irradiation and annealing.

To use, simply point its probe at a stone to receive a result; the probe can be manipulated to reach every diamond in mounted jewelry and can read stones as small as 0.9mm in diameter. Results are easy to read. You don’t need to interpret graphs, colors, reference charts or data to know whether your stone is natural. In just two seconds, you get a simple “Pass” for natural diamonds and “Refer” for stones that need further testing.

In the event that your stone needs further testing, let the experts at GIA tell you the identity of your stone. If the stone proves to be laboratory-grown, our graders can issue a GIA Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report. Our new, updated Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report is fully digital and provides detailed color and clarity specifications and a plot of the laboratory-grown stone’s clarity characteristics, so that you know the quality of your stone. The report also states the stone’s growth method-high­ pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD)-as well as any post-growth treatments.

The Innovative Research Behind the GIA iD100

At GIA. we are uniquely positioned to offer this advanced diamond-detecting instrument due to our over sixty years of diamond research, our insight from grading millions of diamonds every year, and the information we collect from growing CVD diamonds in-house for research purposes. Our laboratory has performed systematic studies of natural diamonds, laboratory-grown diamonds, colored diamonds and simulants, so that we are familiar with each and can ensure accurate stone identification.

The technology of the GIA iD100 sets this device apart from other diamond testing devices. Rather than using UV light, which can lead to false readings, the GIA iD100 uses highly-sensitive spectroscopy technologies to detect trace amounts of lattice defects in diamonds — one of the most accurate and advanced techniques available to determine if a stone is natural. The portable device is non­ destructive to stones and was created to be fast, accurate, affordable, the ultimate diamond-detecting triple-threat. It encapsulates GIA’s diamond-detecting expertise and technology for the best price in its class — $5.495.00.

According to third-party testing results, the iD100 has a 0% false positive rate, meaning it will never pass a laboratory-grown diamond as a natural diamond. With the GIA iD100, you can be confident about the identity of the jewelry that you acquire and sell every day.

gia.edu/id100
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