Diamond Origin: Is it Possible to Trace a Stone’s Provenance? Dr. James Shigley of GIA Takes Us on a Journey Through the Complex World of Gemology

Top GIA Fellow Claims Science Cannot Determine Diamond Origin

Dr. James Shigley, a distinguished research fellow at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), has stated that it is highly unlikely to identify a diamond’s origin based on its physical characteristics. He explained that 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.

According to Dr. Shigley, 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, Dr. Shigley mentioned that identifying the origin of a diamond by matching its polished form to the rough stone of known provenance is possible. The GIA offers Diamond Origin Reports for this purpose, with a success rate of around 90%. He described this process as similar to a chain of custody, emphasizing that this method is more effective than studying a polished diamond alone.

During a recent GEMTalks LinkedIn Live session, Dr. Shigley also discussed the possibility of determining the origin of colored gemstones, which is considered a more achievable goal than identifying diamonds’ origins based on physical characteristics alone. He also talked about how lab-grown diamonds can impact gemology and answered questions from his audience while providing insights into this complex field.

To learn more about this topic and access the full recording of the GEMTalks event sponsored by GIA, visit [insert link]. Established in 1931, GIA aims to protect consumers and support global gem and jewelry trade through research, education and laboratory services. Stay informed by signing up for their diamond and jewelry industry news and analysis[insert link].

Leave a Reply