Monday, February 8, 2010

GIA seeks counterfeit diamond report culprits

Carlsbad, Calif.--The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has identified and taken out of circulation a counterfeit diamond grading report that surfaced recently in Hong Kong, and now the institute's lab is seeking information on the culprits.

According to a news release issued Wednesday, GIA traced the bogus document back to the diamond trading center of Antwerp, Belgium. In investigating the case, the lab was able to determine that the report's number did not correspond to the stone that accompanied it but that it did match the report number for another, higher-quality stone.

According to GIA, it appears a diamond of lower quality was cut to match the original GIA report but the diamond's measurements, color and clarity did not match the specifications of the diamond that actually went with the original report. A closer examination of the rogue report revealed that the font, color and background used in the blue shaded area did not match up to the same characteristics found in authentic GIA certificates, among other discrepancies.

According to the release, GIA is working behind the scenes to obtain more information about the report and its origin, and, as always, is working with law enforcement authorities worldwide to help prevent, detect and prosecute such illegal activities. Anyone with information about this case or any other fraudulent activity is asked to bring it to the lab's attention.

To help the industry or the public identify counterfeit reports, GIA had instituted a free online service called GIA Report Check that allows clients to go online and enter a diamond's GIA report number and carat weight to receive all of the information on the stone. It is available only for diamonds graded from Jan. 1, 2000 to the present.

Report Check would not have helped with the bogus report found in Hong Kong, however, because the report number would have sent users to the original report for the better-quality diamond. GIA also offers GIA Report Verification Service to confirm the authenticity of a GIA Diamond Grading Report and Diamond Dossier, but the service requires sending the diamond and its original report to be re-assessed. Another option is having an original grading report updated for a reduced fee, to include full grading and screening steps for treatments.

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