On Jan. 11, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the opening of its gem identification and grading laboratory in Mumbai, India, GIA India Laboratory Pvt. Ltd. (GIA India). The state-of-the-art laboratory opened in 2008 in the Bandra Kurla Complex, close to the Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai, to serve the needs of the globally important Indian diamond industry.
GIA hosted an event for clients where GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques and Executive Vice President and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer Tom Moses, along with other executives, helped commemorate the significant anniversary.
“The anniversary marks a milestone in GIA’s continued commitment to India,” said Jacques. “Throughout these 10 years we have worked with trade associations including the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council and the Bharat Diamond Bourse to ensure that our offerings meet the needs of the Indian gem and jewelry industry while advancing our mission to ensure the public trust in gems and jewelry.”
“Every year since GIA laboratory operations began, our focus has been to ensure the objectivity and accuracy of every grading report issued,” said Moses. “This is reinforced by our commitment to deliver innovative, research-based solutions – be it the GIA Melee Analysis Service or the GIA iD100™ – to address the needs of the trade and protect consumers. The recent announcement of the new GIA India laboratory in Surat is the latest example of that commitment.”
Speaking at the event, Nirupa Bhatt, managing director of GIA India and Middle East, said, “From 2008 until today, GIA India has seen its workforce grow from 60 - 37 of whom are still with us - to more than 1,200. We are proud to support the growing demand of the Indian gem and jewelry industry for diamond grading reports. In these 10 years, we have worked with trade associations across India and conducted complimentary seminars to help members of the trade gain knowledge about gemological standards.”
Since 2004, GIA India school has provided gem and jewelry education programs and classes at its campus in Mumbai and classes at other locations throughout India. Offerings include the prestigious GIA Graduate Gemologist, GIA Graduate Diamonds and GIA Graduate Colored Stones diploma programs, and jewelry design courses. Additional classes and seminars are available for gem and jewelry professionals and those seeking education to support their careers. Since 2008, nearly 200 students of the GIA India school have been awarded more than $1,150,000 in scholarships.
In addition to impartial, independent laboratory services and globally recognized education programs, GIA and its affiliates support local communities and trade. In India, they support the Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha (MKSSS), a school dedicated to the empowerment of women through education. The Labham Programme offers a full day of training designed to create awareness for manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers on how to manage their businesses in a responsible and ethical manner in compliance with applicable laws. The Institute also offers Trade Education Seminars (TES) to provide gem and jewelry industry personnel with informative content about basic gemology, gemological research findings and more.
Jacques continued, “The Indian gem and jewelry sector has grown tremendously over the past decade, both in importance to the global trade and to the Indian economy. We are proud that GIA India has grown with it, offering expanded research-based diamond grading services and education for the next generation of gem and jewelry professionals.”