In mid-2019, the Gemological Institute Of America introduced a program designed to increase the safety of customers buying diamonds. The key idea of the project is the transparency of gemstone deliveries.
We discussed the first months of the GIA Diamond Origin Report with Marcin Marcok – an expert on the gemstone market nad owner of MART DIAMONDS.
This isn't the first initiative to eliminate unethical suppliers from the market, is it?
The diamond industry has done a great deal over the last decades to eliminate malpractices in the global gemstone market. We remain one of the most restrictive sectors of the industry, which effectively combats the illegal trade in diamonds. Starting with the provisions of UNO Resolution 55/56 (Kimberley Process), which was adopted to confirm the conflict-free origin of rough diamonds through the Interlaken Declaration signed by 36 countries and the European Community, all signatories committed themselves to applying an international certification scheme in accordance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
Is the market still marked by the image of diamonds obtained in breach of the applicable regulations?
It is estimated that since the beginning of the 21st century, the global number of entities responsible for illegal trade in rough stones has decreased sharply. This is the result of restrictive regulations on legal trade in diamonds on international markets. Let us not forget that diamonds are the most unique raw material ever encountered by man, and this uniqueness obliges us to make the entire sales and delivery process ethical, transparent and compliant with the principles that have been known among real diamond sellers for years.
How does the GIA Diamond Orgin Report stand out from similar programs?
The very fact that the program was developed and implemented by one of the largest Gemological Institutes in the world makes it a project that will reach a large part of the world. Every year, the GIA certifies about half of the diamonds available on the market and as much as 90 percent of top-quality stones weighing over 1ct. This means that by implementing the project assumptions, they are able to identify the origin of each examined diamond, thus effectively eliminating the diamonds of unknown origin from the market.
What is your opinion on the effectiveness of the service?
I have been keeping an eye on how the program works in practice for several months now. I must admit that the prospects for the future are promising. In the case of large suppliers, with a widely spread network of sourcing the raw material, there are sometimes inaccuracies in determining the precise origin – but the fact that the industry has been so eager to join the program is encouraging. The GIA Diamond Origin Report program is another major step in the struggle against unethical sellers, who often rely on the ignorance of their customers.
Transparency of the diamond industry by GIA
Can a customer buying a GIA certified diamond trace the path of a diamond back to its source?
Yes. The certificates issued by the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) which we have been cooperating with for more than a decade, provides information on the origin of the raw material before it is cut. When we buy a diamond with a certificate confirming its authenticity, we can be certain that the raw material comes from a legal source. The information is of crucial importance for everyone investing in precious stones.