What Is The Gemological Institute Of America?

by Ultimate Jewelry Guide
What Is The Gemological Institute Of America?

Have you are interested in jewelry you may have heard of The Gemological Institute Of America or the GIA but are unsure about what they do. So you are in the right place because in this blog post we will talk about everything that you need to know about the GIA and how they impact the diamond industry.

What Is The GIA?

The Gemological Institute of America, known as the GIA, is a research institute for gemology studies and jewelry arts. The GIA is the world’s highest authority when it comes to diamonds, pearls, and colored stones. 

GIA is a non-profit and oriented towards public benefit. It is one reliable source of knowledge, standards, and education about diamonds and other gems. Aside from headquarters in America, it has 14 offices all over the world. The GIA has built its reputation very well when it comes to diamonds and other gemstones.

The History Of The Gemological Institute Of America

The GIA was founded on February 15, 1931. It was founded by the jeweler Robert Shipley who had all his savings invested for the establishment of the Gemological Institute of America. Back in those times, jewelers had practical knowledge and skills without fundamental knowledge about jewelry and gemstones. They are able to join the trade in the industry of gemstones, but only through trust and experience, which makes them vulnerable to fraud. 

Shipley decided to make the industry professional and equip the jewelers with balanced knowledge and wisdom. He did it through research, education, and gemological instruments. The first service of the GIA is within Los Angeles, where Shipley’s house is located.

Since its founding in 1931, the GIA has been able to achieve multiple achievements in the industry. These achievements included the development of the color scale in 1953. The color grade D to Z has been the standard for the classification of purity of diamonds since then. In 1956 they discovered the irradiated yellow diamonds, and in 1968, they did the first-ever gemological study of the Tanzanite gemstone. 

In 1971 they did the first study on synthetic diamonds, and in 1999 they were able to make the first artificially produced diamonds. In 2003, they were able to create proof of the presence of chemical vapor in the production process of synthetic diamonds. And throughout the years, they were able to reach milestones and breakthroughs in the field of diamonds and gemstones.

What Is The Gemological Institute Of America Laboratory?

The GIA laboratory offers a wide range of services for diamonds and other gemstones. They focus on classifying the diamonds and gemstones according to the globally accepted standard: the 4Cs, cut, clarity, color, and carat. They give certificates for the services and reports they provide. The first certificate is the Diamond Grading Report or the cheaper dossier that gives less but essential information about the diamond. 

The Diamond Grading Report is what most consumers ask for. The diamonds’ specified properties affect the market price, but it is not the GIA who sets the market price for diamonds and colored gemstones. For further safety purposes, the GIA applies invisible registration numbers in the gemstones and certificates which are not visible to the naked eye.

What Does The Gemological Institute Of America Do?

Aside from Diamond Grading Reports and Certificates, the GIA offers other services for the public. Especially those who are interested in Gemology. Here is a list of the other important roles that the GIA plays in gemological studies and services.

Diamond Grading Reports

The diamond grading reports classify the diamonds and gemstones according to the globally accepted standards (cut, clarity, color, and carat). 

In addition to their Diamond Grading Reports, the GIA offers less expensive dossiers that provide information about the diamond. The diamonds’ grading will have an impact on the diamonds’ market price, as well as helping buyers make informed purchases.


The GIA has 12 campuses around the world, and it offers courses and training related to gemology through its interactive e-learning platform. The GIA collaborates with professional associations all over the world in giving programs and technical series of training in gemstones and jewellery. The GIA offers graduate diploma programs and courses, such as Graduate Gemologist, Graduate Diamonds, Graduate Colored Stones, and Graduate Pearls.

Beyond these, the GIA offers a Graduate of Gemology program with comprehensive courses and training. If you finish Graduate Diamond and Graduate Colored, you can get a certificate as Graduate of Gemology which is highly regarded in the gemstone and jewelry industry.

Library And Information Centre

The Gemological Institute of America has the world’s first gemological knowledge resource, the Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Centre. It is located in the GIA headquarters in Carlsbad, California. The library has 38,000 books, 700 international journals and periodicals, 1000 videos/DVDs, 80000 digital images, and 300 maps.

GIA Instruments

The GIA produces and sells instruments that is used to classify and grade diamonds and other colored gemstones. The GIA instruments identify the physical and optical characteristics of gemstones. In-depth studies using their instruments are also done to identify the microscopic properties of diamonds and other colored gemstones. The first instrument that the GIA produced was the 10x magnifier in the 1930s. From then, the list of tools and instruments for diamonds and colored gemstones was designed and produced by the GIA, especially for the industry.

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