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The GIA's new service traces a diamond's origin, and includes an app for consumers
The GIA's new service traces a diamond's origin, and includes an app for consumers

New GIA service traces diamond’s origin

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has introduced a program that allows retailers to track the origin of select polished diamonds, potentially providing a unique selling opportunity and improved consumer confidence.

According to the GIA, the Mine to Market (M2M) service, which includes a consumer-facing app, enables “everyone along the diamond value chain to tell the story of a diamond”.

“A digital storytelling platform and app, M2M provides a close look into all the chapters of a diamond’s story – from the mine, through the cutting process, and to the market,” a GIA statement read.

The service reportedly requires participating diamond manufacturing companies to send rough diamonds and appropriate documentation to a GIA laboratory. Data on a stone’s morphology, spectroscopy and crystal growth structure is then collected.

Once this process is complete, the rough is returned with a serial number to the manufacturer.

A polished diamond that has been resubmitted to the GIA with a serial number could subsequently be examined against the rough. The app provides access to information including GIA certificate reports as well as photos and videos of the diamond at various points of the supply chain.

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Matt Crimmin, GIA vice president of laboratory operations
Matt Crimmin, GIA vice president of laboratory operations

GIA vice president of laboratory operations Matt Crimmin has been reported in other trade publications as stating that the program, which has been in development for two years, did not represent a compete solution to identifying a diamond’s provenance.

“[With the data collection process,] nearly 10 per cent of the results will be ambiguous,” Crimmin said, adding, “If you just give me any polished diamond, I can’t tell you what mine it came from.”

Nevertheless, the service would seemingly help to increase transparency within the diamond industry and thus consumer confidence.

Submitting rough diamonds to the GIA is reportedly free; however, retailers are required to pay to unlock all the M2M app features. The app is available for iOS and Android users.

Crimmin presented the M2M service to the trade during the JCK Las Vegas trade show on 6 June.

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