Last updateTue, 19 Jun 2018 9pm

Advanced technology expands GIA Pearl Testing capabilities


Lab can accurately assess more pearls, more quickly on a daily basis

(CARLSBAD, Calif.) - GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has announced significant advancements in its pearl testing process. Highly advanced micro-CT X-ray units that produce high-definition 3-D images of individual pearls have been installed after months of tests and evaluations. These new units enable GIA to rapidly gain fully rotational 3-D images of the internal growth structures of pearls in just 15 to 20 minutes; older units take 3 to 5 hours or more. This new technology enables GIA laboratories to assess much larger groups of pearls more quickly and in greater detail than any previously employed technology.

This newly introduced technology is in addition to the high-resolution real-time 2-D radiography that GIA has used in pearl testing for the past several years. The 2-D real-time microradiography gives immediate X-ray images of a pearl’s internal growth structures. These 2-D images give far more detail and are as much as 30x faster than the conventional film-based 2-D microradiography used in most pearl testing facilities worldwide.

Both micro-CT and real-time microradiography are processes that examine the internal structures of small objects in minute detail, which is critical in determining whether a pearl is natural or cultured. Representing significant advances over film-based technology, these units produce very high levels of clarity and definition and, in both cases, images can be stored indefinitely, making it possible to further review or share them electronically with experts at any time.

“We are confident these state-of-the-art units will give unparalleled service to the pearl industry,” said Tom Moses, GIA senior vice president of Lab and Research. “This equipment reflects GIA’s 80-year commitment to pearl research, providing the public and trade with the most advanced pearl identification, using the most innovative and sophisticated technology. Kenneth Scarratt, Nick Sturman and the rest of the pearl identification team have more than 100 total years of hands-on experience examining and identifying almost every pearl type.”

GIA continues to closely monitor natural and cultured pearl markets to protect and inform the consumer and the industry, Moses said.

For more information please visit www.gia.edu.