Dear Industry Colleagues, Friends, and Members,
As 2022 winds down, the jewelry industry is beginning a retail season with optimism and anticipation. It is this time of year that sets the tone for 2023 and the direction for the year ahead. It is also the season when our industry usually sustains the most scrutiny and the time of year that our industry most often comes under attack by journalists, documentaries, and blockbuster movies, as we are at the forefront of consumers’ minds and attention. It is a shame that the positives of our industry such as sustaining local economies where diamonds are mined and polished, the advancement of women, our attention to the UN sustainable development goals, and the efforts of organizations such as the Responsible Jewellery Council, Jewelers for Children, Jewelers Vigilance Committee, and Diamonds Do Good don’t have the same sensational impact and attention of the media.
A huge topic of concern and conversation over the years has been the differentiation between laboratory-grown diamonds and natural diamonds.
Laboratory-grown diamonds have been around since the 1950s, and in the early 2000s, they started to become prevalent in jewelry. When GSI realized the potential danger of laboratory-grown diamonds being inadvertently mixed with natural diamonds, we alerted our retail clients immediately to let them know of a challenge that could arise as the number of undisclosed laboratory-grown diamonds came into the market, possibly being mistaken as natural in a finished piece of jewelry. Because laboratory-grown diamonds have the same chemical, optical, and physical characteristics of their natural counterparts, this opened up the jewelry industry to false claims that it’s impossible to separate natural and laboratory-grown diamonds. This is inaccurate and false.
GSI can confidently affirm that the detection of laboratory-grown diamonds—both loose and in finished jewelry—is not only possible but has been accomplished by us for many years. We created a scalable process to meet that challenge, and we screen and test millions of diamonds and jewelry each year for all price points, sizes, and mountings for both certified and uncertified goods. As a leading gemological organization, we have a unique vantage point that allows us to remain ahead of the curve as laboratory- grown diamond growth processes change and improve. We’ve heavily invested in research, education, testing, and advanced equipment. Our global screening and testing laboratories were created as a solution for retailers and manufacturers and to help protect the integrity of the industry as whole.
Early on, many leading retailers took immediate action to establish and implement ongoing screening and testing processes for their jewelry with GSI. GSI and our global retail partners are committed to protecting consumers.
Retailers, I urge you—in light of the holiday season, and what comes with it for our industry—to have a process in place to ensure your diamond jewelry is tested for undisclosed laboratory-grown diamonds. There are solutions in our industry. Laboratory-grown diamonds are detectable. Protect yourself, your reputation, and your customers.
Gemological Science International
President and cofounder