Top GIA Fellow Claims Science Cannot Determine Diamond Origin

The Challenge of Identifying Diamond Origins: Insights from Dr. James Shigley

Dr. James Shigley, a renowned research fellow at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), stated that it is highly unlikely to identify a diamond’s origin based on its physical characteristics. According to him, diamonds lack distinctive visual features that would determine their provenance and the samples of stones often do not provide enough information. The only possible indication of a diamond’s origin is trace elements, which are difficult to analyze due to their low concentration and do not typically reveal where the stone came from.

Dr. Shigley explained that the chemical composition of diamonds reflects geological processes in the mantle and is not related to their current location on the earth’s surface. Studies conducted to determine a diamond’s origin have been limited in size and range of locations, making it challenging to confirm the source of a stone now or in the future. However, he mentioned that identifying the origin of a diamond by matching its polished form to the rough stone of known provenance is possible, with a success rate of around 90%.

During a recent GEMTalks LinkedIn Live session, Dr. Shigley also discussed the possibility of determining the origin of colored gemstones, which he believes is a more achievable goal than identifying diamond origins. He also talked about lab-grown diamonds and how they impact the gem industry. Dr. Shigley answered questions from viewers and provided insights into his research and expertise in gemology.

If you want to learn more about this topic and access the full recording of the GEMTalks event sponsored by GIA, please visit this link: [insert link]. The GIA was established in 1931 with an aim to protect consumers and support global gem and jewelry trade through education, research, and laboratory services. Stay informed by signing up for their diamond industry news and analysis updates so you don’t miss out on anything important!

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