GIA Addresses Hot Issues at GemFest

The Gemological Institute of America's GemFest Basel addressed a host of hot topics: Dr. James Shigley, GIA director of research, led off with some good news: Synthetic diamonds are no longer a concern for the jewelry industry. Because of the way synthetic diamonds are grown in a laboratory, Shigley said, their growth process produces a distinct color-zoning feature that gives the stones identifying characteristics. A greater concern is continued HPHT treatment of natural stones. The treatment used to be confined to Type II diamonds but now includes Type I diamonds, the type that accounts for 95% of the diamond market. As HPHT expands, Shigley said GIA is continually updating its research to keep up. Shane McClure, GIA's West Coast director of identification services, said a new fracture-filling treatment, first seen late last year in some ru
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