Who are the GIA, Learn about the GIA and there part in GemstonesThe GIA which stands for the gemological institute of America, has today acquired the status of a globally recognised organisation, dedicated to research, study and certification of all kinds of gemstones which exist naturally on Earth. It doesn’t matter if you are going to buy a diamond ring for your wife or getting a blue sapphire engagement ring for your fiance, GIA certified and graded gems, fetch a high value in the market and put buyers at ease, regarding the authenticity of the gemstones. To put it simply, GIA is an umbrella organisation that deals with everything related to gemstones, including grading, research and even manufacturing specialty equipment for jewellers! The organisation was founded by Robert Shipley, a successful jeweller form the United states in 1930’s and today has diversified its functions and objectives to a large extent. Want to know more about the famed institute? Read our guide that will tell you about GIA in brief:
- Although the institute was founded in 1931, its history goes back to the early 1920’s. A jeweller named Robert Shipley, who was plying his trade in America found the current state of the jewellery industry dismaying as there was total lack of regulation and control. He extensively travelled throughout Europe to understand that most countries and regions in the world lacked organisation and standardisation of practices when it came to jewellery and gems trade. Later around 1931 he formulated his own course in Los Angeles. to certify jewellers in the country. Ever since, a GIA certification has become a minimum requisite for jewellers in the United States of America and even other countries. The first GIA laboratory was founded in 1931 in Los Angeles which certified gemstones on their authenticity. The Organisation has come a long way and its headquarters shifted to Carlsbad in California which is around 140 km south of Los Angeles.
- Much of the GIA organisation is dedicated to the research of gemstones and the institute boasts of a number of ‘firsts’ in gem polishing and extraction techniques. Much of the focus of their research is to develop and refine existing methods of identification and grading of gemstones. It is worth noting that the GIA today has acquired international repute and it’s not uncommon to find GIA certified gems in places like Europe and Australia and even India. The GIA is also credited with the widely used Diamond grading system that is used all over the world today. The system rates diamonds according to their clarity, shape, facets and sizes. All these go a long way in determining their value in the market. GIA is considered to be the leading authority when it comes to certification of diamonds, and an overwhelming majority of jewellers rely on their laboratories for accurate grading. Currently much of the focus of GIA research is on synthetic diamonds, treated as well as blue natural sapphires , rubies and even pearls.
- The GIA laboratory provides a range of services for gem grading and identification. From Diamonds, Rubies, Pearls and all other gemstones undergo rigorous and methodical testing to know about their structure and flaws. GIA offers comprehensive reports, which include the smallest of details, including comments on the country of origin and their subsequent effect on price. Their most popular service with jewellers is the diamond grading reports which are usually of two types, namely, diamond grading reports which are detailed and more expensive, and the diamond dossier which are less extensive in their scope. Much of their international repute has come for providing quality assessments regarding gemstones and especially diamonds. The diamonds are graded based upon factors like size, weight, color, clarity, inclusions and treatments. They also provide services for other gemstones which are equally comprehensive.
- The GIA offers a slew of online and campus based learning courses. The institute has around 12 campuses around the world, which impart all kinds of professional courses including basic certifications to refresher courses to even corporate executive training programs for the diamond and jewellery industry. They also offer a host of diplomas on things related to diamond and gem processing lie carving, polishing, fabrication, repair and much more. If you are looking to make a career in the gems and jewellery industry then you can take up a relevant course from the GIA. They also offer long distance and online courses not just for novices but also professionals who have been in the industry for many years. They also publish a quarterly journal titled ‘Gems and Gemology’ which enjoys wide readership, and aims to educate jewelers on the current happenings in the industry. The GIA also maintains the world’s largest library dedicated to gemological knowledge. The Richard T. Liddicoat library which is located at the GIA headquarters in Carlsbad houses over 38,000 books, 700 international magazines and subscriptions of over 200 journals related to gems.
- Ever since the inception of GIA the Jewelers Loupe has undergone a revolution. In 1934 the GIA patented the jeweler’s loupe with triple aplanatic lenses, and became the most famous instrument with jewelers, globally. In 1937 Robert Shipley Jr. The son of the founder of the GIA patented the first ever jewelers microscope which helped professionals to identify minute inclusions within the structure of a gem. The GIA is also responsible for implementing the dark field illumination technique that makes gems easily visible and inclusions more prominent. Apart from loupes and microscopes, the GIA also manufactures tweezers, gem cloths and other state of the art, specialty equipment’s for other colored gemstones.
Now that you know about the GIA and its functions, it’s easy to see why it has been a resounding success ever since it was founded. The GIA has gone from strength to strength and is today considered an authority on everything related to gems and other precious stones. Not just the USA, countries around the world have recognized and accepted GIA as a standard for organizing their own, domestic jewelry industry. We hope this guide has been informative and will prove useful for you. Have a great day ahead!