Starting from January 1st 2014, GIA will begin issuing reports for their services in a new format. I have to tell you I saw this coming when I first noticed GIA revamped their website somewhere in mid-2013. It seems like GIA finally decided to give their image a make-over in order to keep up with times.
Did many of you also noticed that the corporate colors for their website design had shifted primarily from blue towards a much more neutral appearance with more grey and white? Yep, that was a clear signal change was coming. With the revamp, the GIA website also took on a modern outlook utilizing a flat design concept.
Apparently, moving towards a flat design seem like the “in” thing nowadays. Following Apple’s iOS and many other major retailers, there is a trend towards keeping design simple and straightforward for users.
For people who are familiar with the blue-white designs of the older reports, the new format looks vastly different. As you can see above, blue is no longer used. In its place, we see gold borders and a less cluttered layout of information.
Well, nothing much as changed from both a consumer and seller’s point of view. All the critical information like the 4Cs, diamond plot, comments and diagrams are essentially kept as it is. The only thing major difference lies in the rearrangement of the data display and the introduction of new security features.
Interestingly, the reports are now printed on a “unique” and “durable” type of paper. This paper is proprietary to GIA and I personally think that this is a great move to prevent fake reports. Ultimately, it helps both sellers and buyers to authenticate the stones they are purchasing.
At the bottom right of the new formatting, you will also notice a QR code that allows you instant access to GIA’s database. I think that this is a great feature as it reduces the inconvenience of verifying a report. You can now pick up a report, scan the code and verify it in a matter of seconds.
I could imagine scenarios in showrooms where customers can now use their mobile devices to check the authenticity of the report and also scenarios in diamond bourses where traders can now conduct business in a much more effective manner.
Yes, it is. Don’t worry, if your diamond is graded as an F VS1, the result will probably be the same in the new format. In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter if you are currently holding on the older report. It’s just a matter of aesthetics and not so much of whether the grading standards had been changed.
For people who want a copy of the latest report for their current diamonds, GIA does offer some options for you to get your hands on them. For newly issued reports dated between July 1st, 2013 to December 31st, 2013, the re-issues can be requested for free. For reports issued between January 1st, 2013 to June 30th, 2013, the re-issues will be available for a small fee. In both scenarios, you do need to return the original reports to GIA before they will issue you one in the new format.
For reports that were generated before 31st December 2012, there are currently no options to get a new report except by sending the diamond back for a re-grading. Needless to say, you need to pay the full fee for the service. At the point of writing this article, this is how things are and they may or may not change in future.
For more details, you can always head over to: http://www.gia.edu/gem-lab-report-new-format
So, the next time you happen see a GIA report with the gold colors instead of the usual blue-based reports, don’t be alarmed. It isn’t a scam nor a ploy by the vendor to trick you with a fake report. Instead, whip out your smart phone and verify the report instantly online with GIA.
I personally think the new report is a step in the right direction as the data is displayed in a much more concise manner. The proportions chart used to be hidden in a corner of the report but in the current design, the report opens up and the diagram is smack right in the middle of your face.
What do you think of the new design for a grading certificate? Do leave an comment below on your thoughts!