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IGI says undisclosed lab-grown diamonds now “very limited”


In the countdown to CARAT+ 2018, Roland Lorie, CEO of International Gemological Institute (IGI), comments on how the world’s leading retail brands now routinely submit their diamonds for testing for the presence of non-disclosed lab-grown diamonds.

Demand for testing of diamond jewellery has multiplied tenfold at IGI labs over the past two years. Image Credit: IGI.

CARAT+ 2018 exhibitor, IGI, one of the world’s largest independent laboratories for testing and grading diamonds, coloured stones and fine jewellery, says submission of non-disclosed lab-grown diamonds to its labs is now “very limited”.

Established in 1975, IGI has offices in Antwerp, New York City, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Bangkok, Tokyo, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, Kolkata, New Delhi, Surat, Chennai, Thrissur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Shanghai, and Cavalese. It also runs Schools of Gemology in several locations around the globe.

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IGI’s Antwerp lab was the first in 2012 to identify a lot of 600 stones as being laboratory-grown diamonds, CEO Roland Lorie told CARAT+ in an interview.

The submitter was not aware of it and had bought them undisclosed, Lorie said.

Since then all major labs have invested heavily in identification equipment. Every single stone, even a 1/1,000 per carat stone, is checked at IGI, the CEO added.

“The major retail jewellery brands now request from their suppliers to submit every single diamond, whatever the size, to one of the major labs, such as IGI,” Lorie said.

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“The result is that factories and submitters are more careful before submitting. The quantity of undisclosed laboratory grown diamonds submitted to the IGI labs is now very limited.”

It is now a standard that diamonds in general must pass through a lab, Lorie said. “It gives assurance to the consumer that he is buying the product he is entitled to.”

Demand for testing of jewellery, particularly diamond jewellery, has multiplied tenfold at IGI labs over the past two years. Lorie commented: “The consumer does not want a certificate for the stone only, but more and more requests a certificate for the full piece of jewellery.”

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CARAT+ is an important opportunity for the international diamond trade to develop their businesses in Antwerp, with Lorie noting: “The importance of Antwerp as a major world diamond centre makes it inevitable to have a fair here where retailers from all around the world can buy directly from suppliers.”

The main lab groups, including IGI, GIA and HRD Antwerp, will be exhibiting at the second edition of CARAT+, as well as leading suppliers of loose diamonds, coloured gemstones and diamond jewellery.

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The show will attract top buyers, including retailers, designer brands and manufacturers, from around the world.

Discover more about IGI.


Discover more industry news on the CARAT+ website every week.

CARAT+ is The World’s Premier Diamond Event, covering the full spectrum of the diamond and diamond jewellery trades. The show specialises in four sectors: loose diamonds, branded diamond jewellery, non-branded diamond jewellery and services for the diamond jewellery industry.

Taking place in Hall 1 and Hall 4 of the Antwerp Expo on 6, 7 and 8 May, entry to the show is restricted exclusively to industry professionals, including diamond and jewellery wholesalers and manufacturers from around the world, and jewellery retailers from across Europe and the wider world. 

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