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November 2006

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) will begin accepting synthetic diamonds for grading starting in January.

GIA had previously announced it would grade synthetics a month ago. But some synthetic manufacturers remained unhappy about the language, since on the first proposed reports the word “synthetic” was inscribed on the stone’s girdle.

GIA instead will inscribe “laboratory grown” on diamonds produced in a lab that do not already have an inscription with Federal Trade Commission-approved language, according to a report on National Jeweler’s web site. This includes such terms as “man-made,” “lab grown” and branded names such as “Chatham created.”
“Over the past several weeks, GIA’s management team held a number of meetings with a wide variety of stakeholders,” Tom Moses, GIA’s senior vice president and head of the GIA Gem Trade Laboratory. “We listened carefully and with an open mind, as we promised to do, while never losing sight of GIA’s core commitment to ensure and enhance the public’s trust in gems and jewelry.”
The reports will look different than GIA’s regular reports, including having a yellow stripe on them.

“We have great confidence in GIA’s commitment to the well-being of our industry, and we trust that, when it comes to the handling of synthetics, the organization is determined to do the right thing,” said Ernie Blom, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.

Blom stressed the importance of leading gem labs to develop a harmonized approach to the grading of synthetic diamonds.

“Our interest, first and foremost, in agreeing that labs grade synthetics, is to provide accurate and unambiguous information to the jewelry consumer,” he said. “If different labs adopt different strategies, and see a variety of different nomenclature, then the consumer will be presented with a range of mixed messages. That is exactly what we need to avoid.”

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