In June, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)informed the World Diamond Congress in Tel Aviv, Israel that the GIA Laboratory intended to grade synthetic diamonds. There was overwhelming agreement by the diamond industry that synthetic diamonds should be graded so that consumers would receive proper disclosure when the lab-grown diamonds enter the marketplace. However, there has been months of heated debate over what language should be used to described synthetic diamonds.
The producers of synthetic diamonds feared consumers would perceive the word “synthetic” to be the same as fake or simulated diamonds. The providers of natural diamonds wanted language that would clearly differentiate lab-grown diamonds from diamonds mined from the earth.
The GIA’s new Synthetic Colored Diamond Grading Report clearly identifies the diamond as laboratory-grown and refers to the man-made origin four times. The new report also uses grading terminology to describe color and clarity that is different than is used for natural diamonds on their traditional reports.
The GIA instead will laser inscribe “laboratory grown” on diamonds produced in a lab that do not already have an inscription with Federal Trade Commission-approved language such as “man-made,” “lab grown” and branded names such as “Chatham created.” The producers of synthetic diamonds have stated that all their diamonds will be laser inscribed with some type of synthetic nomenclature but the GIA will ensure that all synthetic diamonds will be laser inscribed with proper disclosure.
The GIA Laboratory will begin accepting lab-grown diamonds for grading using the new reports on January 1, 2007.
After decades of researching synthetic diamonds, The International Gemological Institute (IGI) has implemented their new Laboratory-Grown Diamond Grading System. The IGI has been developing and testing the system for more than a year.
The new grading report has a different format compared to the IGI’s grading reports for natural polished diamonds. The report provides an explanation and definition of synthetic diamondsand specifically identifies the type of synthetic origin. IGI requires that all synthetic diamonds it grades this way have the laser inscription containing the words “Laboratory-Grown.”
The purpose of using the term laboratory-grown and the information on synthetic diamonds on the new reports is the IGI’s attempt to better educate consumers and provide accurate and reliable product information on the lab-grown diamonds entering the marketplace.