The International Gemological Institute (IGI) is the world’s largest independent laboratory for diamond and gem grading, certification, and valuation. Founded in Antwerp in 1975 by a staff of three, IGI has grown to include more than 450 professionals, spanning the globe with offices in New York City, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bangkok, Dubai, Toronto, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, and Mumbai. The only ISO 9001:2000 certified international gemological organization, IGI adheres strictly to an internationally accepted system for diamond grading. With a single governing body and rigid standards of excellence, the Institute provides priceless peace of mind, arming consumers with the knowledge they need to feel confident and secure when purchasing loose diamonds.
Today’s certified diamond and gem consumers are far savvier than their predecessors, demanding quality and professional knowledge in addition to beautiful jewelry. Intelligent consumers want to understand the differences between certified diamonds so they can make educated decisions about their fine jewelry and engagement ring purchases. IGI’s consumer-focused grading, identification, and appraisal reports play an integral role in consumer education, ensuring that the quality-conscious consumer is confident with their diamond purchase.
In addition to diamond quality, today’s consumers also demand verification that their diamonds are conflict-free. An IGI Certificate of Authenticity states that the stone is in full compliance with the Kimberley Process, the USA Patriot Act, and the US 2003 Clean Diamond Act, and attests that the diamond was responsibly mined and ethically sourced, ensuring that it is “conflict free”.
In addition to the Certificate of Authenticity, IGI generates Diamond Reports and Colored Stones Reports. An IGI Diamond Report provides reliable and accurate data regarding the diamond’s grade, based on an internationally recognized grading system. Independent, unbiased gemologists use state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge technology to grade each loose diamond for cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. An IGI Colored Stones Report describes a gemstone’s specific variety, shape, cut, carat weight, color quality and transparency factor, country or origin, and whether the stone is natural or synthetic.
The comprehensive information contained in the Diamond Report and Colored Stones Reports is used to generate IGI’s Gemological Appraisal Reports, the most reliable and accurate valuation documentation available today. In addition to providing coverage information for insurance companies, IGI Gemological Appraisal Reports provide vital documentation for estate executors, financial planners, public accountants, retailers, consumers, and jewelers. IGI Diamond Reports, Colored Stones Reports, and Gemological Appraisal Reports can be obtained at the point of purchase, or independently by sending diamonds and gemstones directly to the IGI.
IGI’s expanded services include Laser ScribeSM, table branding, diamond repair, jewelry engraving, and photography. With Laser ScribeSM, gemologists use lasers to inscribe numbers, letters, logos, personal messages, and trademarks on the girdle of the diamond so the stone can be easily identified. This laser inscription is visible only under 10x magnification, and does not affect the quality of the stone. Laser technology is also utilized with IGI’s jewelry engraving. Table branding allows companies to permanently affix their trademark or logo on the upper, largest facet (table) of a diamond. This logo is only visible under special viewing equipment, and does not affect the diamond’s grade. IGI’s master polishers repair diamonds that have been damaged, or remodel stones with out-of-date cutting styles or poor facet arrangements.
Founded in Antwerp in 1982, the IGI Gemology School currently has branches in Mumbai, Cavalese, Dubai, and Toronto. The schools promote IGI’s mission of education and knowledge by offering courses in polished diamonds, rough diamonds, colored stones, pearl grading, and jewelry design. IGI’s prestigious gemology training courses attract thousands of diamond dealers and jewelers from 90 countries annually, with courses available in many languages. IGI courses are taught by highly skilled, internationally recognized gemologists, and emphasize comprehensive and practical learning techniques. For those not able to attend an IGI Gemology School, the Institute offers an IGI Long Distance Course, a home study diamond correspondence course.