By Ashley Bailey
, Wednesday, December 20, 2006
From GIA, Carlsbad, Calif. - The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) will begin offering geographic origin determinations on its Emerald Identification Reports, effective December 1, 2006.
Shane McClure, director of Gem Identification in GIA’s Carlsbad Laboratory, said, “We are very pleased to be expanding our emerald services to include geographic origin information on our reports. This is another step forward in our commitment to offer GIA’s laboratory and research services to the colored stone industry.”
McClure said, “This is a pivotal step for GIA. The Institute has always held that the intrinsic quality of an emerald was the most important factor in determining its market value.”
“While we staunchly believe that the quality of gem material will always be of primary importance, we recognize that the marketplace perceives the country of origin of an emerald to be of added value, and is therefore a factor in its valuation,” said McClure.
When the tell-tale properties and characteristics of an emerald are present to permit a determination of its geographic origin, GIA will indicate this on its emerald reports. Although this will apply to all emerald localities, initially this service will focus on the distinction of emeralds from Colombia.
Discussions with the colored stone trade have indicated that the greatest demand exists for the distinction of Colombian emeralds. According to McClure, GIA has put in place robust criterion and feels confident in its ability to distinguish emeralds that have originated from this deposit.
As part of this expanded service for emeralds, an introductory fee scale has been developed that is broadly based on the weight of the emerald being tested.
If the geographic origin of an emerald is not determined or not requested, the standard emerald identification fee will be applied.
“In addition, GIA has gone through a process to update the images on its emerald, ruby, sapphire and alexandrite reports,” McClure said. “We’ve gone to great lengths to improve the quality of the images on our reports. We now have a specialized software system in place that maximizes color reproduction and printing to put very high-quality images on the reports.”