Lifestyle Magazine

GIA: No Easy Answer for Long Turnaround Via JCK

By Raymondleejewelers @raymondleejwlrs

If you’ll recall our webisode on diamond certificates, we mentioned that sometimes GIA, the leading gem certification laboratory, has a much longer turnaround time than its peers.

Now, in an interview with JCK, GIA is explaining just why their usual lengthy turnaround has gotten even longer – topping out at 6 weeks.

The first factor is the huge influx of diamonds to GIA. According to Tom Moses, GIA’s senior VP of lab and research:

“We had a 40 percent increase in intake and that sustained through the summer,” he says. “We just had a red-hot industry in the first half of the year, and places like India are wanting certificates for smaller and smaller sizes. Diamonds are being certified today that we wouldn’t imagine 10 or 20 years ago.”

Beyond the higher demand, GIA is experiencing a dearth of staff. They hope to increase their ranks around January and “shave a week off [their] turnaround time.” However, the lab is reluctant to add staff too quickly.

Hertz Hasenfeld co-chair of the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America’s gemological committee, has stated that “If they take half-trained or almost-trained gemologists and put them in there, and lower the quality of their work, that would be a disaster. The last thing you want to see them do is cut corners to shorten delivery time.”

Another reason why turnaround has lengthened is the increase in treatment testing. The amount of testing they have to do for suspect diamonds slows things up,” says Ron Vanderlinden, also a co-chair of the committee, “But if just one suspect diamond gets out there, it’s a problem for all of us.”

GIA estimates that the slowdown of input, in addition to expanded staffing, should help stem the issue that’s affecting the entire diamond and jewelry industry.

To read the entire story, visit JCK’s website and read the fascinating article by Rob Bates.

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