FAQs

Can anyone submit stones to GIA for grading or identification?

Anyone around the world can submit diamonds and colored gemstones to GIA and be assured of consistent quality standards, service, and fee structures.



How do I submit stones to GIA?

You’ll find detailed instructions for submitting stones to GIA locations worldwide here. Whether you choose to ship your items to us, or drop them off in person, here are a few tips to help ensure the quick return of your items.

  •  For GIA Diamond Grading Reports and Diamond Dossier services, we only accept loose (unmounted) diamonds. Mounted stones are accepted for Verification, Colored Diamond Identification and Origin grading services, depending upon the setting or mounting.
  •  While you may submit any gem material to any GIA location for grading or identification services, there may be some limitations on the size and types of goods serviced at that particular facility. Your items may be shipped to another GIA laboratory location for service. Please refer to specific locations for details.

 

What is GIA LabDirect?

GIA LabDirect, a system of authorized, third-party consolidators, provides easy, convenient access to GIA Laboratory services from a growing number of locations outside the U.S. With GIA LabDirect, international customers can deliver and pick up their items locally, transact business in their own languages, and get help with packaging, insurance, customs and the many complicated details of shipping valuables internationally. Please contact GIA LabDirect consolidators for their hours of operation, specific payment instructions, and other details.



How do I replace a lost or stolen GIA Report?

Please contact us for details.

 

Why do I need an independent diamond grading report?

For the ultimate peace of mind, ask your jeweller to provide an independent diamond grading report with your diamond. The most widely used and respected reports are those issued by independent GIA, which provides grading reports on the world’s most important diamonds. A professional jeweller can arrange to have your diamond graded and even have a personal message or unique GIA Diamond Grading Report number laser-inscribed onto the diamond's girdle (its outer edge).



What is diamond inscription?

A micro-laser beam can be used to etch a microscopic inscription on the girdle of any diamond weighing 0.25 carat or more. Inscriptions are most often used to give a diamond a unique identification. For example, report numbers or other information relating to ownership are often inscribed. However, romantic messages like "Forever Yours" and "Always and Forever" have become popular, along with poetry, symbols, names and special dates. Since a message can be read only under magnification, you and your special someone can keep it to yourselves or choose to share it with others. The price of GIA's inscription service is based on the weight of the diamond and the length of the inscription. Typically, up to 15 character spaces can be inscribed.

 

Does GIA perform appraisals? If not, how can I locate a qualified appraiser?

A GIA report offers technical information on the dimensions, quality and identifying characteristics of a loose diamond, but does not provide an appraisal value. Later, value may be determined from the information provided by a GIA Diamond Grading Report. If your diamond is mounted and you would like to have an appraisal of the entire piece of jewellery, an independent appraiser can provide this service. An appraisal provides a quality analysis, description and a valuation of a jewellery item.

There are many appraisal associations than can assist you with locating an appraiser.



Do you grade diamond cut? For what minimum carat size?

Yes. The GIA Diamond Cut Grading System, introduced in 2005 after years of extensive research, assigns one of five grades to describe the overall cut quality of a standard round brilliant diamond in the GIA D-to-Z colour range. Each cut grade represents a range of proportion sets and diamond appearances, each of which may conform in different ways to the characteristics of that grade. The GIA Cut Grade is reported on the GIA Diamond Grading Report™ for diamonds 0.15 ct and larger and on the GIA Diamond Dossier® for diamonds 0.15–1.99 ct.

 

Do you grade branded specialty cuts?

Yes, we grade all polished diamonds regardless of shape or brand. We evaluate all diamonds according to the GIA International Diamond Grading System™, which takes into consideration the Four 4C's. With fancy or specialty cuts, however, we only evaluate Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight. We do support the marketing and branding of these cuts with laser inscription and reporting of brand names. Our extensive library of over 500 plotting diagrams includes many branded and specialty cuts. We judge the appearance of these special cuts compared with one another, or with the standard round brilliant.

 

Has diamond cut improved in recent years?

Over the past several years, we have generally seen improvements in the polishing of diamonds, including the placement and alignment of facets, the exactness in the angular relationships between facets and the quality of polishing. With the introduction of GIA’s cut grade for round brilliants in 2005, we have also noticed that efforts are under way to pay closer attention to previously ignored aspects of diamond polishing.

 

Do you grade fracture-filled diamonds?

No. Filling of diamond fractures with a glass is not a stable, permanent treatment; grading results would be affected if the filler is damaged or removed.

 

Do you grade polished synthetic diamonds?

Yes. In June 2006, GIA announced it would begin offering synthetic diamond grading reports to the public and the trade to provide consumers with the necessary information and disclosure. GIA evaluates synthetic diamonds using the same colour and clarity boundaries as the grading system for natural diamonds, but with fewer quality grade categories.



Do you analyze the light performance of a diamond?

Performance analysis implies that some type of methodology analyzes light emitted from a diamond in the same way that the human eye does. GIA’s past research found no existing technology capable of such analysis. To compensate for this, GIA used proprietary ray-tracing software to develop a system that would predict brightness and fire from a variety of proportions sets (angles and dimensions) input into the computer. In order to determine which diamonds were perceived as best, GIA showed diamonds with a wide variety of proportions to diamond manufacturers, jewelers and consumers. Observations were conducted in dealers’ offices, where jewelers did their buying, and other locations. Other observation tests were conducted in controlled lighting environments. Through this research, GIA determined that the pattern—the size and arrangement of bright and dark areas in a diamond—was essential to the assessment of a diamond’s appearance. Formulas were determined that could predict when certain areas of a diamond were dark or bright for the observer. Grade boundaries were based on the threshold at which the combination of brightness, fire and pattern were perceived to be the best; as observers saw detracting differences in appearance, various grade levels were established. Human observation testing was used to set the thresholds for the five grades — Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. GIA created lookup tables incorporating these factors; they also included weight ratio, girdle thickness, polish, finish and symmetry. When the angles and dimensions of a diamond are measured on a non-contact measuring device, those measurements are used to access the lookup tables and determine a final grade.

 

Can you detect a coloured gemstone’s country of origin?

Yes, we provide this service for some gemstones, such as corundum (ruby and sapphire), beryl (emerald) and certain tourmalines.

 

Do you test for treatments, such as beryllium testing in corundum?

Yes. We test for all known treatments for diamonds, coloured stones and pearls, and have an ongoing research program to study and develop practical identification criteria for new gem treatment processes.

 

What specialized equipment do you have?

GIA’s high-tech analytical instruments include:

  • Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer
  • Raman spectrometer
  • Ultraviolet, visible and near - infrared spectrometers (UV-Vis-NIR)
  • Energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometers (EDXRF) for chemical analysis
  • Laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometers (LA-ICP-MS) for chemical analysis
  • Fluorescence spectrometers
  • Cathodoluminescence instrument
  • X-ray powder diffraction camera
  • X-ray radiography equipment for pearl analysis
  • Real-time digital X-radiography for pearl analysis
  • GIA has many of these specialized scientific instruments at each of our laboratory locations.

 

Do you translate your grading reports to other languages?

Not at this time.