(CARLSBAD, Calif.) – The more than 60 scientists, engineers, gemologists and technicians of GIA’s global research team met November 1-3 at the Institute’s world headquarters in Carlsbad, CA. Joined by members of the GIA Board of Governors and several prominent consulting scientists, the participants discussed and reviewed recent extensive discoveries that underpin GIA’s education programs, laboratory services and instrument development.
“Rigorous independent research is at the center of GIA’s activities and is vital to our consumer protection mission and our services for the trade,’ said Tom Moses, GIA Executive Vice President and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer. “As the focus of our efforts has progressed from gemological discoveries and investigative techniques to incorporate ever-more advanced technologies, the scope of this meeting has expanded to include artificial intelligence, advanced statistical modeling, new custom and proprietary instruments, and advancements in automation.”
Participants in the three-day conference discussed the latest research advancements in natural and laboratory-grown diamonds, colored stones, pearls and instrumentation.
The discussion of natural and laboratory-grown diamonds included observations of the unique inclusions in diamonds, fluorescence and color-zoning in some colored diamonds, advancements in laboratory-grown diamonds and the continuing challenges of research into diamond origin determination.
Regarding colored stones, the researchers delved into the geochemistry of various species, the use of advanced techniques to detect diffusion treatments and the gemological characterization of emeralds from North Carolina. Pearl topics included the challenges in identifying unusual cultured pearls and using trace-elemental analysis and machine learning to support pearl origin identification.
The discussion of technology included advanced imaging systems to support the grading of high-clarity diamonds and the development of a fancy shape cut grading system, and advancements in GIA’s efforts to develop an automated instrument-based diamond grading system for many categories of diamonds.
For more than 60 years, research has been central to GIA’s important consumer protection mission. From the development of the GIA International Diamond Grading System in the 1950s and the first observations of laboratory-grown diamonds in the 1970s to pioneering discoveries about colored stone origin based on the Institute’s unique field gemology program and the development of advanced instrumentation to detect gemstone treatments, GIA’s efforts have helped to ensure the public trust in gems and jewelry. GIA shares its findings with the public, the gem and jewelry trade and the scientific community through GIA’s professional journal Gems & Gemology, papers published in other scientific journals – including Science and Nature – and participation by GIA scientists in academic and trade conferences.
While much of the research discussed at the November conference is early stage or proprietary, some will appear in later issues of Gems & Gemology. Every issue of the journal, from 1934 to today, is available for free at https://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology.