The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has launched a melee-screening center on the premises of diamond supplier Stuller, enabling the jeweler to verify the natural origin of its stones.
The arrangement allows Stuller to sell its natural diamonds to retail clients with an accompanying GIA document stating that the goods are not synthetic or simulants.
The GIA independently operates the center, which opened recently and became fully integrated with Stuller’s business processes on Monday. The institute’s own employees sit within the Stuller headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana, providing the laboratory’s melee-analysis service for round polished diamonds ranging from about 0.033 carats to 0.25 carats. The service also sifts out diamonds treated using high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT), and sorts natural stones by color.
Stuller, which stocks both mined and lab-grown diamonds, already screens the vast majority of its stones to check that the company is advertising them accurately, according to Stanley Zale, its vice president for diamond and gemstone procurement. The new initiative gives the extra confirmation that clients seek, he explained in the latest edition of the Rapaport Diamond Podcast, published this week.
“Each of us in the industry has an obligation to one another to correctly represent the product we’re selling. We have a concern there might be this inevitable story on 60 Minutes about undisclosed lab-grown diamonds,” Zale told Rapaport News, referring to the CBS news show.
“GIA is here to give our customers the highest level of assurance that they’re buying exactly what we say they’re buying,” he added. “It’s incumbent on all of us to have a strict and vigilant quality-assurance program, and to have the highest level of assurance that we are correctly representing the product we’re selling.”
Image: Tom Moses, executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer for the GIA (left), opens the screening center with Stuller president Danny Clark.