De Beers contributes $450,000 toward GIA research

The De Beers Group has made a contribution of $450,000 to the Gemological Institute of America. The donation will help GIA keep pace with technological challenges in the diamond industry by funding important diamond research and development activities.

In recognition of the gift, the De Beers Group will be honored at GIA’s 2003 League of Honor Dinner in October. The event, which draws the industry’s top leaders, is held to recognize companies and individuals who have donated $100,000 or more to GIA.

The contribution is a result of the strong relationship the De Beers Group and GIA have forged over the years, as they work to complement each other’s research efforts for the good of the diamond industry, said Stephen Lussier, executive director of Marketing for the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), the rough diamond marketing division of the De Beers Group.

The donation, which will be disbursed to GIA in increments of $150,000 over the next three years, will be used to further the Institute’s efforts in diamond research. According to GIA’s Director of Research, Dr. James Shigley, in the last five years the industry has been faced with increasing challenges as new synthetics and HPHT-annealed diamonds have appeared on the market.

Shigley said GIA’s researchers have been able to address these developments as they arise thanks to contributions from the industry. In doing so, GIA has identified thousands of HPHT-treated diamonds and established the world’s most comprehensive database of treatments and technologies.

“Support from the industry has allowed us to purchase advanced scientific equipment, diamonds for use in treatment experiments, software with which to build our database, and other assets that help us tackle these technological challenges,” Shigley said. “Without this support, GIA Research would not be in the position it is in to address these issues.”

“We are grateful for the De Beers Group’s continued support, as it is vital for GIA to continue to meet the ever-increasing technological challenges to the diamond industry,” said Linda Ellis Harmeling, GIA’s chief Development officer. “This latest grant will enhance our research efforts and reinforce the mutual respect and confidence that is apparent between GIA and the De Beers Group researchers. The ultimate beneficiaries include the diamond industry and its customers.”

The De Beers Group’s recent donation brings its cumulative gifts to GIA to more than $3 million. The first contribution was made in 1991 with a $1.5 million lead gift to GIA’s Vision 2000 campaign. Other donations have followed through the years.