Unlocking the Mystery of Diamond Origins: Expert Insights from Dr. James Shigley of GIA

Top GIA Fellow Claims Science Cannot Determine Diamond Origin

Dr. James Shigley, a distinguished research fellow at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), stated that identifying a diamond’s origin based on its physical characteristics is highly unlikely. He explained that diamonds lack distinctive visual features and samples of stones often do not provide enough information to determine their provenance. 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, he mentioned that identifying the origin of a diamond by matching its polished form to the rough stone of known provenance is possible with a success rate of around 90%. This process is similar to a chain of custody and emphasizes that it 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, as well as the impact of lab-grown diamonds. He answered questions from the audience and provided insights into the complex world of gemology.

To learn more about this topic and access the full recording of the GEMTalks event sponsored by the GIA, visit [insert link here]. The GIA, established in 1931, aims to protect consumers and support the 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.

Leave a Reply