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Top GIA Fellow States Science Unable to Identify Diamond Origins

In a recent interview with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Dr. James Shigley, a distinguished research fellow at the organization, discussed the challenges of identifying a diamond’s origin based on its physical characteristics. According to Dr. Shigley, while diamonds have unique chemical properties, they lack distinctive visual features that could be used to determine their provenance.

The GIA has developed methods for confirming the origin of diamonds through Diamond Origin Reports by matching polished stones to their rough of known provenance. However, this process is limited in scope and success rate, with only around 90% accuracy. Despite ongoing efforts to study diamond chemistry and origins, it remains difficult to pinpoint where a stone came from on Earth.

During his recent appearance on Rapaport’s GEMTalks series sponsored by the GIA, Dr. Shigley also addressed questions about origin determination for colored gemstones and lab-grown diamonds. He emphasized that while identifying the origin of colored gemstones is more feasible than with diamonds, using physical characteristics alone to determine a diamond’s origin solely from studying a polished stone is currently impossible due to low concentration levels and lack of distinctive features.

Overall, the GEMTalks LinkedIn Live session hosted by GIA provides valuable insights from industry experts like Dr. Shigley on gemology practices and trends in the jewelry industry. The organization aims to protect consumers and support global trade through research, education, and laboratory services by providing up-to-date information on gemstone trade practices and trends in the industry.

By Samantha Jones

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