GIA Scandal Not Known to Consumers, Survey Finds

Despite its recent exposure in major newspapers and on cable news channels, the money-for-grades scandal at the GIA lab has not penetrated the public consciousness, according to recent research by the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council, a market research division of MVI Marketing.

JCOC found that 54 percent of respondents had heard of the Gemological Institute of America, but only 3.5 percent had heard of the recent litigation and lab scandal. Of that number, 62.9 percent said the scandal had a “somewhat negative” impact on GIA’s reputation, 22.6 percent said it had a “very negative” effect, and 11.3 percent said it had “no effect” at all.

“The industry knows [the GIA scandal] is a very important matter, but in the daily lives of the average consumer, it is not,” says Elizabeth Chatelain, co-CEO of MVI Marketing and creator of JCOC.net.

“Research has shown that diamond-buying consumers want a third-party endorsement of the authenticity of their diamond purchase and GIA has always ranked the highest in acceptance over the years,” she added.“Without a major media exposé, I believe this will not affect diamond purchases.”

In December, the scandal was featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and London Times.