ANTWERP, February 26, 2012 - In the heart of the Antwerp diamond district, dozens of expert gemologists are hard at work in the labs of the International Gemological Institute (IGI), certifying diamonds, gemstones and jewellery.
“The consumer wants to know what they are purchasing. A certificate gives them peace of mind,” said Roland Lorie, CEO of the IGI, which was founded in Antwerp in 1975 and is now the largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute in the world.
“The consumer asks himself, How do I know that the quality of what I am buying corresponds to what I expect?” Lorie told Jewellery Outlook during a recent visit to the IGI labs in Antwerp.
“We have seen huge increases in demand for certification.”
The IGI Diamond Report is essentially a statement attesting to the authenticity of a diamond.
IGI’s expert gemologists use state-of-the-art equipment in order to accurately assess a diamond’s 4Cs and other characteristics.
Additionally, each diamond is scientifically analysed for the identification of synthetics, simulants and possible treatments.
The IGI also gives courses in grading, gemology and jewellery design.
The courses include intensive lab sessions and practical work using gemstones of all shapes and sizes.
Upon completion of the courses and final examination, students are awarded official IGI Diplomas, the most prestigious being the IGI Graduate Gemologist, G.G. Diploma.
As well as Antwerp, the IGI has offices in New York, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Bangkok, Tokyo, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Cavalese, Toronto, Los Angeles, Kolkata, New Delhi, Thrissur, Surat, Chennai and Shanghai.