Many people do not give a second thought to what the gemstones in their jewellery go through when they buy it, oblivious to the journey they can take before they wear them. Almost all gemstones will go to a laboratory to test and grade them before issuing a certificate. Having a certificate is essential so that you know where they have come from, what quality they are, and helping you to avoid purchasing conflict gems. Below are some of the most prominent laboratories in the world that your gemstones may have passed through before they find their way to you.
America has one of the world’s largest laboratories in the Gemological Institute of America and is a well-respected authority on everything to do with gems. They have locations worldwide, including:
- Hong Kong
There is a high chance that the diamonds or other type of jewellery you are wearing now has come through one of their offices. They are a prominent figure known worldwide, and they have been in operation since the 1930s.
Switzerland is also a big player in gems, and one of the most prominent gemological laboratories is GemResearch Swisslab (GRS), which was founded in 1996. The company has grown over the years with locations throughout the world and in some of the biggest gem trading markets, and include offices in:
- New York
- Hong Kong
Sri Lanka is a country that processes many gemstones, so it also has various companies offering services in the gem trade. One of the most significant players in the Sri Lankan market is Emteem Gem Laboratory, and they specialise in sapphires and rubies, many of which come from South East Asia. Unlike some of their competitors, they only operate in Sri Lanka, so they do not have offices worldwide as other companies do.
With the explosion of the middle class in China, jewellery and gemstones are highly popular with consumers. One of the most prominent players in the market here is National Gemstone Testing Center (NGTC). They predominantly cater to the Chinese market, so do not have locations worldwide, but they do have various offices throughout the country, which includes:
- Hong Kong
There are plenty of other laboratories throughout the world which test and grade the many types of precious gemstones we use in jewellery, but these are some of the most significant ones. Next time you look at your jewellery it may make you think about the journey it has taken before it came to you.