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Gemological Institute of America

Gemological Institute of America

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) was established in February the 15th 1931 by A jeweler, Robert and his wife Beatrice Shipley. The GIA is a non profit organisation and is considered by many to be the worlds foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones and gems. The website is According to their website, when most jewelers knew little about the gems they traded, Robert Shipley decided to professionalize the industry through education, research, and gemological instrumentation. The Institute, initially based out of their home, offered mimeographed mail-order courses and provided gem-testing services using borrowed microscopes and other equipment.

From these modest beginnings GIA has become an institution with more than 200,000 graduates from 13 schools in 10 countries, a prestigious laboratory grading the world's most important diamonds, the leading gemological research center, and the author the 4Cs and the International Diamond Grading System - the worldwide standard for evaluating diamond quality. The headquarters are in Carlsbad, California 92008 USA.

And they are represented in the following countries:

London New York
Tel Aviv
Hong Kong
But not in Australia interestingly enough.

The GIA is credited with establishing the, now famous and well known 4Cs of diamonds.

In addition the GIA has established the following milestones in gemological services:

building the first gemological microscope with dark field illumination
creating the D-to-Z color scale and Flawless-to-I3 clarity scale for diamonds
internationally recognized standards for evaluating diamond quality
detecting irradiated yellow diamonds
determining the color of black cultured pearls to be natural
the first study of a new gem, tanzanite
the first report on faceted synthetic diamonds
identifying glass-filled rubies
detecting fracture-filled diamonds
evaluating the durability of emerald filling substances
distinguishing natural from synthetic diamonds
detecting synthetic moissanite
identifying the effect of fluorescence on diamond appearance
detecting diamonds decolorized by high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) treatment
detecting chemical vapor deposition (CVD) gem-quality synthetic diamonds
creating a comprehensive system for grading diamond cut quality
The GIA provides the following services:

Ensuring the Public Trust
GIA state that their mission, "is to ensure the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism through education, research, laboratory services, and instrument development. GIA attained its leadership role through decades of integrity and ingenuity, and everything we do is still driven by this mission."

Place of Learning
GIA offers a number of training and diploma courses, The Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) diploma, focusing on gem grading and identification as well as the Graduate Jeweler, Applied Jewelry Arts, and Accredited Jewelry Professional programs. In fact GIA offers training geared to every aspect of the industry. GIA also manufactures gemological instruments used by the gem and jewelry industry everywhere.

GIA is one of the world's most respected gemological laboratory. It has been entrusted with grading and identifying more gems than any other lab including the Hope, the Taylor-Burton, the De Beers Millennium Star, and the Incomparable. Located in major gem and jewelry centers around the world, GIA laboratories are staffed by expert diamond graders and gemologists, whose work sets the standard for grading practices worldwide.

Turnaround Time
Turn around time for diamonds and colored gemstones submitted to GIA Laboratories vary. The turnaround time is calculated from the date GIA receives the item to the date results are made available to the client. Secondary services and transit times are not factored into the estimate. Here is an example of turn around times. These are updated on the website weekly.

Gemological Institute of America - turnaround times

GIA Grading Report
The GIA Diamond Grading Report includes the assessment of a diamond's 4C's - color, clarity, cut, and carat weight - as well as a plotted diagram of clarity characteristics and a graphic representation of the diamond's proportions. For standard round brilliant cut diamonds falling in the D-Z color range, the report will also includes a GIA Cut grade.

The GIA Laboratory also issues diamond grading reports for loose, natural diamonds in the D-Z color range with a weight of 0.15 carats or more. However, GIA Diamond Grading Reports are not issued for synthetics, simulants, mounted diamonds or those that have undergone unstable treatments, such as fracture filling or coating. And while reports may be issued for diamonds that have been laser drilled or HPHT processed, these stable treatments will be prominently disclosed on the report.

Here you can download a copy of the Fee schedule in US Dollars for Diamond Grading Reports. Available on the website are schedules for fees in other currencies.

There is suppoprt for trade as well as retail on site and one can set up a log in of you are a student, laboratory client, or employee.

The Gemological Institute of America is an organisation that does not follow the standard but actually sets the standard for the diamond industry world wide.


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