LAB NEWS – IGI advanced technology decisively identifies lab grown fancy-colored diamonds from natural counterparts


The International Gemological Institute (IGI), the world’s largest independent gemological laboratory, has been at the forefront of providing accurate and reliable certification services in the gem and jewelry industry for close to 50 years. Foreseeing the increase in demand for lab-grown diamonds in 2008, IGI was the first global laboratory to include certification for lab-grown diamonds that would help consumers make an informed decision when purchasing a diamond.

To keep transparency in the trade and consumers’ minds, IGI developed a machine based on photo luminescence, called the “IGI D-check”, for rapid screening to determine the source of creation – natural or lab-grown. Screening devices for natural and lab-grown diamonds commonly work on the principle of photoluminescence where they capture the signature fluorescence and phosphorescence exhibited by a diamond under Ultraviolet light of a shorter wavelength. However, fancy-colored diamonds do not behave in the same way as colorless and near-colorless diamonds. Lab-grown fancy-color diamonds are often treated with irradiation, heat and pressure (or a combination of the above) and these alter the fluorescence and phosphorescence. Most screening machines, therefore, cannot effectively separate between natural and lab-grown fancy-colored diamonds.

LAB NEWS – IGI advanced technology decisively identifies lab grown fancy-colored diamonds from natural counterparts

After extensive study, IGI established a common set of procedures for each color category. Using advanced techniques like FTIR and photoluminescence spectroscopy, along with magnification, IGI can successfully separate fancy-colored natural diamonds from fancy-colored lab-grown diamonds, whether loose, in parcels, or mounted in jewelry. The Institute has continuously evolved and shared its testing methods and techniques on a global level to ensure every diamond is accurately tested, whether submitted loose or mounted in jewelry.

“IGI uses the latest technology to ensure that each diamond is graded accurately and identified correctly as natural, or lab grown,” stated Mr. Tehmasp Printer, CEO of IGI. “With lab-grown fancy-colored diamonds gaining momentum and the differential pricing being substantial, it’s imperative that the screening is done by a reputed laboratory like IGI. We had a few cases in recent times where there has been a contamination of natural fancy-colored pink diamonds mixed with lab-grown pink diamonds. We strive to ensure that consumers have the right to accurate and authentic information about the diamonds they are purchasing.”

“IGI has developed the D-check in the interest of transparency and peace of mind for the industry and consumers alike,” continued Mr. Printer. “Our commitment to accuracy and transparency in the certification process is reflected in strict adherence and regular calibration of our international standards and testing methods across our worldwide locations. In addition to lab-grown certification services, IGI also provides comprehensive certification for loose diamonds, jewelry, and colored stones.”

To learn more about IGI and other offerings, visit