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An International Gemological Institute (IGI) laboratory has identified a 6.18-carat 'natural' diamond as lab-created. Image: IGI
An International Gemological Institute (IGI) laboratory has identified a 6.18-carat 'natural' diamond as lab-created. Image: IGI

Large lab-grown diamond deception revealed

The International Gemological Institute (IGI) has determined that a 6.18-carat round brilliant cut diamond, which had been submitted for grading as natural, was lab-created.

The loose stone was analysed at IGI’s Bangkok laboratory, and was accompanied by a report from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) stating it was a natural diamond.

"This is the largest lab-grown diamond ever certified by a leading gemological laboratory, where the sole purpose was to pass off a lab-grown stone as natural"
Bob Van Es, International Gemological Institute

Bob Van Es, managing director IGI Thailand & Hong Kong, said, “This is the largest lab-grown diamond ever certified by a leading gemological laboratory, where the sole purpose was to pass off a lab-grown stone as natural.

“At IGI, we have seen a huge increase in double verification demand, which means before going for a major purchase, consumers like to receive confirmation that the stone matches the original report.”

According to IGI, the stone was likely cut and polished to match an existing GIA report, then inscribed with a fake laser number to “purposely and easily mislead consumers”.

The GIA told Jeweller, “There is no way to determine if [the IGI lab-created diamond] was ever seen at GIA. If it had been seen at a GIA laboratory, it would have been correctly identified as laboratory-grown,” adding, “GIA examines diamonds submitted to us without reference to any other reports or grading information. We offer a Report Verification service to confirm that a GIA report matches the diamond associated with it.”

In May, the GIA released a statement confirming it had seen an increase in the number of lab-created diamonds submitted  for verification with counterfeit laser inscriptions referencing natural diamond reports.

“The majority of the newly-submitted laboratory-grown diamonds have higher clarities and their measurements and weights were almost identical to the GIA reports referenced by the counterfeit inscriptions,” the organisation observed.

Tom Moses, executive vice-president and chief laboratory and research officer, GIA, said in the statement, “This unfortunate situation demonstrates why it is important, especially in any transaction where the buyer does not have a trusted relationship with the seller, to have the diamond grading report updated before completing a purchase.”

A number of large lab-created diamonds have been submitted to the GIA laboratories in the US and Hong Kong in the past year, including 7.07-carat and 12.75-carat stones.

Roland Lorie, CEO IGI, emphasised the importance of double verification of diamonds – even those with laser inscriptions and reports.

“A second opinion ensures the integrity of diamonds through detailed analysis, which is an extra, necessary buffer that protects consumers from purchasing misrepresented gemstones,” he said.

IGI currently operates 20 grading laboratories worldwide, across North America, Europe, the Middle East, India, and China.

 

More reading:
New lab-created diamond detector set to hit market
GIA updates lab-grown diamond grading reports
Hidden secret: Is your diamond natural or lab-grown?
 











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