Diamond Grading Embraces Digital Technology

September 8, 2022  |  Pritesh Patel, Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Office, GIA  |  SPONSORED BY: Gemological Institute of America
Pritesh Patel. (GIA)

Today’s diamond graders are increasingly using advanced technological tools and methods to help grade color and clarity.

Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” That quote and variations of it are often attributed to Danish physicist Niels Bohr or famed American baseball coach Yogi Berra.

The future is hard to predict because what we do now will influence how things turn out. The best way to influence the future is to think carefully about what we want it to be and what we can do today to move in that direction.

GIA is proud to sponsor this Rapaport Special Supplement, How to be ready for a digital-first future. Even if we can’t be certain about the future, we can be sure that it will be digital, because digital-first is no longer the future; it’s the present.

Digital technology is integrated into every part of our life today – in every experience we have, in every decision we make, and in every transaction – whether we are buying or selling. Being ready for the digital present starts with a deep understanding of consumers’ needs and desires. What products and services do they want? How do they want to receive them? What experience do they expect? If you understand these, you can meet their needs and desires digitally or physically with a seamless omnichannel experience. You and your customers will grow and evolve together.

GIA has focused on that evolution for our Institute since our earliest days.

Correspondence courses for jewelers based on university lectures became classroom instruction supported by microscopes and refractometers; then globally available online courses, now supplemented by wildly successful webinars, the GIA Knowledge Sessions. And now, we are sharing knowledge with consumers through social media.

4Cs worksheets from those early classrooms became handwritten diamond grading reports. Those became printed reports – millions of them produced every year – with high-resolution images and
multiple security features. And soon, all those reports will be fully digital, with enriched information beyond the 4Cs that is securely at consumers’ fingertips on their mobile devices, when and where they want it.

Diamond grading in GIA laboratories depended on carefully assembled sets of master stones for color grading and detailed plots for clarity. In the 1970s, we introduced the first colorimeter. Today, GIA-developed instruments and proprietary algorithms use the data from decades of detailed observations by GIA experts to help grade both color and clarity.

At every step, we looked ahead, looked at what we were doing and asked, “How can we prepare for what we think is coming?” It is the same in every part of the gem and jewelry industry – mining, manufacturing, design, gemological education, laboratories, and retail. The best way to succeed in today’s digital-first environment and to prepare for the future is to ask that question so we can be ready for changes that we do not expect.

Our CEO, Susan Jacques, often refers to another quote, attributed to Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one most adaptable to change.” Being ready to adapt to the changes happening today and that will happen tomorrow is how we will survive and thrive in the digital-first future.

Image: Pritesh Patel. (GIA)


Pritesh Patel. (GIA) Diamond Grading Embraces Digital Technology

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