GIA Newsletters

Building Retail Brands through Unique Jewellery Design
From the early Mesopotamians to the Bedouins to today’s consumers at jewellery souks, the Middle East boasts a rich tradition in jewellery. Whether gems such as pearls, emeralds, rubies and diamonds or metals like gold, silver and platinum are used – Middle Eastern design aesthetic is deeply rooted in the region’s culture.

When purchasing jewellery, design plays an important role in the consumer’s decision making process. Retail jewellers recognise the importance of design, and continue to look for skilled and innovative designers to translate their visions into reality.

Retail businesses constantly aim to establish a distinct identity, and design has become a way to stand out and promote consumer loyalty. Uniquely designed pieces of jewellery tend to be sold at a premium and can be highly valued. A one-of-a-kind piece has even greater appeal and many fine jewellers throughout the world work to trademark their designs and treat them as intellectual property. Other retailers offer personalised services such as counter sketching to attract customers.

Jewellers in the Middle East showcase eclectic designs ranging from traditional to modern, luxurious to edgy. The diversity of the region and its love for jewellery offers designers numerous career opportunities. Researchers predict that jewellery design will be a top career choice by 2015.

Brands today are looking for talented designers to inspire and create a lasting connection with the consumer. GIA’s education programmes help to create opportunities for aspiring designers by honing their skills through various design courses.

GIA’s Jewelry Design Certificate Programme
An extensive nine-week course, the Jewelry Design Certificate starts with the basics of designing and provides an in-depth understanding of jewellery design theory and artistry. Participants learn to illustrate the shape, form and texture of metal; render faceted gems, cabochons and pearls; and apply traditional drafting techniques to design jewellery.

GIA’s SWIFT Jewellery Design Programme
A five-day programme, the SWIFT Jewellery Design programme teaches participants the basic principles of design and composition, settings and representation techniques and the role of a jewellery designer. The course provides the fundamental knowledge for designing collections and provides insight into manufacturing and pricing of design.

The Institute’s jewellery design courses help budding designers gain a professional edge with both its short-term and extensive courses in design. GIA nurtures design talent across a variety of target groups from jewellery designers and jewellery manufacturers to hobbyists and entrepreneurs who aspire to build their own jewellery business.

For more information on GIA’s design courses, one can write to giamideast@gia.edu

The Basics of Diamond Treatments
People have revered diamond as a precious product of nature for thousands of years. However, in the last half century, scientists have discovered ways to alter the appearance of natural diamond: namely to improve clarity and improve or change colour. Diamond treatments are legitimate and can make some diamonds more marketable, but the need for positive, ethical disclosure is essential to protect the trade and consumers.

Colour Enhancements
Many of the colour enhancements are not common in the market, however, GIA tests every diamond it grades for their presence.

Coating enhances a diamond's colour by masking an undesirable body colour with an ultra-thin layer of chemicals or plastics.

HPHT stands for a high-pressure, high-temperature. The process is an effective tool for changing the colour of certain diamonds, making them colourless, pink, blue, green, yellowish green, or yellow. Outside of a well-equipped grading laboratory, this form of treatment is virtually undetectable.
Clarity Enhancements
There are two main techniques for improving a diamond's clarity; laser drilling and fracture filling.

Laser drilling is commonly used to remove small dark inclusions. The laser bores a small hole into the diamond's interior and burns away the inclusion, or creates a channel through which a bleaching agent can be introduced to improve the inclusion's appearance.

Fracture filling hides white fractures in a diamond called "feathers." A glass-like substance is injected into the fracture to make it less visible and to improve the stone's apparent clarity. Because the filling may be damaged or removed during routine cleaning and repair, the technique is controversial. Good fracture filling is very subtle, and so examination by a skilled diamond grader is necessary to detect its presence in a stone.

How does a GIA Diamond Grading Report help you know whether a diamond has been treated?
GIA does not issue grading reports for any diamond that has undergone a treatment process that's considered non-permanent or unstable, such as coating or fracture filling. GIA does issue reports for diamonds that have been laser drilled or HPHT processed, prominently disclosing these treatments on the report. As a further precaution, GIA also laser-inscribes the girdles of diamonds it identifies to be HPHT processed.

For more details on GIA's laboratory services, please write to us at giamideast@gia.edu