GIA Issues Polariscope Recall

GIA Instruments Illuminator Polariscope, Model 415000GIA Instruments issued a recall for its “Illuminator Polariscope, Model 415000” after several people reported experiencing a brief, static-like shock sensation when using it. No one was hurt or injured.

Updated information: A GIA spokesperson contacted JCK Tuesday to say they sent a release about this recall in September. They said they did not issue a release we received on Monday and don’t know how JCK received a copy. The story on the Web site caught GIA by suprise, according to the spokesperson. JCK has no record of receiving the release in September. Nor does the release appear in a search of the Web site. JCK did remove this story from the Web site Tuesday because of what appeared to be an apparent glitch. However, because of the confusion, JCK placed the story back on the site.

Second update:GIA spokeswoman Laura Simanton, told JCK Thursday that the recall was first issued in August. That it was issued with the knowledge and guidance of the Consumer Protection Safety Commission. A notice was placed on the GIA Web site for about nine months, a press release was issued through CPSC, it was posted on the CPSC Web site (located here), and a notice was placed with GIA’s Alum.connect newsletter, since, as Simanton says, most the polariscopes were purchased by students.

In addition, GIA sent a letter to everyone who purchased a polariscope, informing them of the recall. 

“We have been real proactive in making this public,” Simanton said. 

Of the more than 8,000 such polariscopes sold between 1995 and July 2007, no other such instances have been reported, the Gemological Institute of America said in a statement.

“Nonetheless, to protect all its students and clients, GIA, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, is voluntarily instituting an immediate recall and retrofit program for these instruments,” GIA said. “While GIA believes the risk of any such shock happening again is very remote, the Institute places the safety and security of its students and customers first, and is therefore taking this precautionary measure.”

The Illuminator Polariscope 415000 is a white polariscope, and will have two prongs on its electrical cord. GIA Instruments recall and retrofit program will add a ground wire to the polariscope and return the instrument to customers at no charge for either the retrofitting or shipping.