The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) earlier this year began offering a new, all digital diamond grading report known as the e-report. It features the same grading of the 4c’s done on a full report with the exception of a stone plot of the clarity characteristics. One of the highlights of this new diamond report is the inclusion of an actual photo of the diamond in face up view. It is also environmentally friendly as it involves no printed document or mailing envelop. And it will be accessible from anywhere in the world through the GIA report check
feature on the GIA website.
GIA e-report - sample (click to zoom)
A Good Value for Traders
This new diamond report should be particularly interesting for diamond manufacturers and the diamond trade with the actual photo providing a lot of information that professionals will find useful. This should help facilitate remote trading by cutting down on some of the back and forth in the approval process. They are also less costly than the paper reports which will appeal to traders who provide grading reports on hundreds and even thousands of diamonds.
Why Some are Skeptical
As innovative as this sounds, some trade professionals are not completely sold on the value of the ereport for diamonds. Because these diamond reports include neither a stone plot nor a laser inscription for verification, an unscrupulous seller could potentially represent and sell a different (and inferior) diamond as the diamond in an e-report. The GIA Dossier likewise does not include a stone plot but it does include a laser inscription as a verification tool. The new digital reports are the first GIA diamond reports to include neither.
Despite being somewhat more affordable than traditional paper reports, a customer who purchases a diamond with an e-report and who wishes to own a full grading report will have to re-submit the diamond to the lab and purchase a new report, although there is a discount for the second report.
GIA Diamond Grading Report - sample (click to zoom)
Could GIA do Better?
One would think that a better way for GIA to add this new option would be to do all the grading up front. Then deliver that information in whichever form is requested with an appropriate fee for each. That is, if the diamond dealer only needs the e-report they deliver and charge him for that. If retail jeweler or ultimate consumer decides he would also like to have the full paper report for verification or to put in his safety deposit box, then that could be ordered in addition, without the expense and hassle of sending the diamond back to the lab. In this way all the diamond reports have maximum value for all in the chain, from manufacturer to consumer. Yes, GIA would end up doing stone plots on diamonds for which a full report is never issued. But the convenience of not having to re-submit the stone would lead to more sales of additional reports. And GIA would not have to handle the stone twice in order to sell two diamond reports on the same diamond.
It will be interesting to follow the adoption rate of diamond e-report and see what changes are made to enhance its usefulness.