Counterfeit grading reports surface in Antwerp

The GIA Laboratory said Friday that it discovered two counterfeit GIA Diamond Grading Reports in Antwerp, and is taking steps to alert the trade, point out the security features in authentic GIA reports, and explain how to verify the reports.

“The two reports discovered in Antwerp purported to represent high quality-diamonds. Both were more than three carats, and the report information indicated they were D color and Internally Flawless,” said Tom Moses, senior vice president of the GIA Laboratory and Research. “We were told that a buyer became suspicious and had one of the diamonds tested. It turned out to be high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) annealed.”

Moses said that after receiving a copy of that report, the Lab did issue a report for the diamond in question. However, its original report listed the diamond’s color as E and its clarity as VVS1. And it was HPHT annealed.

“The diamond left our laboratory with full disclosure of the treatment on the report, and an inscription on its girdle indicating it had been HPHT-processed,” Moses said. “That inscription had obviously been removed. We were told that both diamonds were purchased in a pawn shop in Asia.”

Moses said this latest instance of counterfeiting is not new. In 2003, the Institute uncovered a scam in which fraudulent GIA reports were used to help sell clarity-enhanced diamonds, mainly through the Internet. GIA coordinated with international law enforcement agencies and, the scheme ended, with one of the perpetrators arrested in Italy.

Moses added that the GIA Laboratory had recently encountered some instances in which original GIA reports were deliberately mismatched with different diamonds with similar measurements and slightly different grades.

“The intent apparently was to deceive buyers, who presumably would not examine the diamond closely enough based on a quick inspection, and the ‘wrong’ diamond would be accepted as the diamond described on the original report,” Moses said. 

All of GIA’s Diamond Grading Reports and other Laboratory reports incorporate security features that exceed document industry security guidelines. These include a hologram, security screen, microprint lines, chemically sensitive paper, and other proprietary security components. To view an example of a GIA Diamond Grading Report or GIA Diamond Dossier visit www.gia.edu and click on GIA Gem Trade Laboratory, then Reports & Services.

Moses said anyone who receives a report that appears to be counterfeit, they should immediately call the GIA Gem Trade Laboratory at 760-603-4500; or fax it to 760-603-1814.

GIA report information can be verified over the phone by a grading service account representative, he said. The report data can be read, and the GIA representative will confirm that the information is consistent with the GIA record. If it does not match the “GIA file,” the client will be informed immediately. The GIA Lab also offers a verification process that allows the holder of an original GIA report the option of submitting the report with the diamond to confirm that the information on the report matches the accompanying diamond.

The original grading report can be updated, meaning that the diamond is submitted to the laboratory and is fully graded again, including the all of the screening steps for treatments.