By Michelle Graff
The blister pack used for the Gemological Institute of America’s Diamond Sealing Service. The service has been temporarily suspended as the lab investigates how natural, untreated diamonds were replaced with HPHT diamonds.
Carlsbad, Calif.—The Gemological Institute of America has suspended its sealing service while it investigates a switch involving high-pressure, high-temperature treated natural diamonds.

The lab said Friday a “small number”—it declined to provide an exact figure—of GIA sealing packets had been tampered with, a discovery it made “in the normal course of business.”

The natural diamonds originally enclosed in the packets were swapped out for HPHT diamonds that “superficially matched” the report for the diamonds originally sealed in the packets, including the information on the sealing packet data label.

GIA said has suspended the service indefinitely while it investigates the fraud.

The Diamond Sealing Service is an add-on service in which a single diamond is placed in an allegedly tamper-resistant blister pack. Next to the diamond is a small label showing its report number and the date it was graded, as well as its shape and four Cs.

GIA has suspended its sealing service once in the past—in 2014 when it found a sealed diamond did not match the grading report in the pack with it.

The service was reinstated after several months, with additional security measures in place, the lab said.

Anyone with concerns about a GIA-sealed diamond can submit the unopened packet to any GIA lab for verification services at no charge.

If the diamond matches the report in the pack, it will issue a verification letter. If it does not, GIA will issue a new report with the correct characteristics.

All sealed diamonds submitted for verification will be returned unsealed.

GIA clients with further questions should contact their client service representative.

TAGS:   Crime
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