Top GIA Fellow States Science Unable to Identify Diamond Origins

According to Dr. James Shigley, a distinguished research fellow at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), identifying a diamond’s origin based on its physical characteristics is unlikely. This is because diamonds lack distinctive visual features to determine their provenance and their trace elements are difficult to analyze due to low concentration levels. Despite efforts to study diamond chemistry, it is challenging to pinpoint where the stone originated on Earth.

During a recent episode of Rapaport’s GEMTalks series sponsored by the GIA, Dr. Shigley also discussed origin determination for colored gemstones and lab-grown diamonds, along with addressing questions from the audience. He emphasized that while identifying the origin of colored gemstones is more feasible, using physical characteristics to determine a diamond’s origin solely from studying a polished stone is currently impossible.

Despite these challenges, studies have been conducted at the GIA to confirm the origin of diamonds through Diamond Origin Reports by matching polished stones to their rough of known provenance. This process has a success rate of around 90%, making it possible in some cases to trace back the source of diamonds. However, it is important to note that this process requires access to extensive data and resources, including knowledge about diamond mining operations and geology in various regions of the world.

The GEMTalks LinkedIn Live session hosted by GIA showcases insights from industry experts such as Dr. Shigley who have extensive knowledge in gemology. By providing valuable information on gem and jewelry trade practices, the GIA aims to protect consumers and support the global industry through research, education, and laboratory services. For those interested in staying up-to-date with the latest news and analysis on the diamond and jewelry industry, signing up for updates can help them stay informed about new developments and advancements in this rapidly evolving field.

By Aiden Johnson

As a content writer at, I have a passion for crafting engaging and informative articles that captivate readers. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, I strive to deliver content that not only informs but also entertains. My goal is to create compelling narratives that resonate with our audience and keep them coming back for more. Whether I'm delving into the latest news topics or exploring in-depth features, I am dedicated to producing high-quality content that informs, inspires, and sparks curiosity.

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