Early Alert

Not so long ago, diamond traders believed all they needed to know about diamonds was what they could see through a loupe. Today, researchers at the Gemological Institute of America and De Beers are spending millions trying to unlock the innermost secrets of the diamond so consumers and the trade can benefit from better cuts, more accurate grades and advance warnings of gem treatments and synthetics before they slip undetected into consumers’ hands. GIA, the foremost diamond research facility, devotes an estimated 60% of its considerable research activities to diamonds. James Shigley, who leads the research effort, says GIA’s diamond work is concentrated in four basic areas: Identifying treatments of natural diamonds, such as clarity enhancement and color changes through irradiation. Investigating quality grading issues, such as a recently introduced co

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