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How reliable is GIC certificate UNHEATED statement?

babydoll_mini

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
261
I'm just back from a gem show, and I saw a 3.03ct blue sapphire with pretty good color from Sri Lanka dealer. It is declared to be unheated, and the certification provided is "GIC", which I believe is a Sri Lanka lab. Anyone heard of this lab before? How reliable is it? Would you kindly shed some light please? Thank you very much!!
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,193
I have never used this lab and so do not know how reliable they are. There is no online verification so other than calling long distance, how would you verify that the memo isn't forged? Interestingly, GIC might be affiliated with Tokyo Gemmological Lab. Since it is a pretty large sapphire of good colour, why not just spring for the AGL brief as backup verification?
http://www.gicolombo.com/
 

OTL

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Messages
1,349
I have seen several GIC certs, but I don't know how reputable they are...From what I heard, some vendors believe that the lab is quite skilled since the location is specialized in gemstone and they are experienced, they know their stones quite well.
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
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12,296
If I were you, I would go ask the question on the other online gemology forum geared towards professionals whose name starts with "Gemology." Some of their active members are from Colombo and could likely provide you a knowledgable answer.
 

Richard M.

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
1,104
Hi,

I used that lab several times for unheated sapphires a few years ago. I sent the same stones to AGL, just to be sure, and received basically identical results. They're very professional in my opinion although I don't know if they have LIBS to test for beryllium. You could check that by emailing them if its a particular concern.

Richard M.
 

Gembull

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 28, 2020
Messages
1
Its been a decade since this thread was opened, and a lot has changed since.

I must say that this lab is notorious for giving out unheated results for heated stones, if you value your money, I would never at any cost accept a stone with this cert alone. I will get it checked again, and use a more reputable lab to sell with.

This lab has no care in the world when it comes to detecting treatments, and at most times only concerned about color grading. I have seen plenty of stones certified with GIC that were wrong calls. A 4 ct pigeons blood ruby from Mozambique for example. Just imagine the loss of reputation if we ended up selling that on a GIC cert?

I must also add, that the market knows what this labs is up to. It's common knowledge now, most if not all low temperature heated stones will eventually go through GIC to sell in China. And their so called LIBS machine has been broken for months, and if you ask them if you can get a test done they will openly tell you its not working. Ask any honest Sri Lankan dealer, heck even the Chinese dealers know it now! Some stones go back to Sri lanka to turn heated stones to unheated from this lab, sent back to china and make a neat profit on it.

There are a few other labs in the market like this, it's common knowledge.

Some of these labs are good on color, and weak on treatments. Some will give you whatever you want, I mean really whatever you want. Ceylon gem lab (CGL), walk in there with a synthetic and you can get unheated natural. Its hilarious.

Ask around from a reputable Sri Lankan dealer, there are many out there who will guide you on which lab you can trust and which you can't.

When in doubt, test it back home, and make the payment after!
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,193
Hello @Gembull and welcome to Pricescope CS.

Have you experienced or verified these yourself or personally know of such cases? Just wondering/curious.
 

LilAlex

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
213
Have you experienced or verified these yourself or personally know of such cases? Just wondering/curious.
I may not be as diplomatic as chrono above. You created a brand-new account just to present a paragraphs-long screed against a random Sri Lankan lab on a thread that has been dormant for nearly a decade.

I was hoping you would respond to chrono's question above -- what's the deal? And if this is accurate, how does someone not in the trade purport to know what the entire trade thinks about this lab?
 

Frost

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Messages
139
I'd echo what I already said on another thread - we have found GIC to be reliable for about a decade now and counting for everything except vivid hot pink sapphires (where there does seem to be disagreement over low heat/no heat).

That means blue, yellow, pink, orange, padparadscha, green, multi-color etc. have had no issues so far, on accounts of both heating and diffusion (diffusion is rare enough to begin with anyway, you should see one - mainly in theory - every 10 years if you work with reliable suppliers and even then it would have to be a new supplier since no one in their right mind will sell you that when you have a face to face working relationship, you can go to the police for that).

Hundreds, or thousands of our stones have gone through GIC and then subsequently through GIA/AGL (as they went to U.S. dealers and jewelers) and we've yet to encounter a single issue with anything at all that isn't vivid hot pink.
I mean anything at all. And we can literally prove it, with clients in 30-ish U.S. states, most of whom rely on America's two premier labs to verify what a Sri Lankan lab has said.

So as someone who sources in Sri Lanka (even though not a Sri Lankan), I really don't know what Gembull is on about and find it very puzzling, since our experience has been so drastically different for quite some time now while selling to a wide array of people all over the planet.

Some of their post is true though: for one, we also called the other day and their LIBS is under repair with the manufacturer (in the UK apparently) so they're waiting to get it back. That has no bearing on heat/no heat however, as an FTIR is more than sufficient along with microscopy.
And I'd suggest to anyone to wait until it gets back to get a full lab report with heat and diffusion checks for any heated stones, as they should, or to hand the stones over to the other 2 Sri Lankan laboratories who also have LIBS in the meantime.

Secondly, what they mentioned about other labs (there's a million paper shops like that) is also true - we've seen synthetic spinels "certified" as natural padparadschas, synthetic white sapphires come back as unheated, chrysoberyls as alexandrite etc.
But never from GIC, or from the other two with LIBS, who I will refrain from mentioning because we don't have extensive experience and data for them like we do for the former.

This lab has no care in the world when it comes to detecting treatments, and at most times only concerned about color grading. I have seen plenty of stones certified with GIC that were wrong calls.
... and this part is total nonsense - I'd like an explanation on how is it that we have failed to get lab reports from them and got the stones back instead as "inconclusive" whenever anything at all was uncertain (even in silly cases like a loupe clean hessonite garnet that was obviously natural but failed to get a report out of an abundance of caution). Plenty of examples like that, there's even a local term for it, "too clean".
Also, there's the fact that quite a few big dealers in Sri Lanka dislike GIC for their unwillingness to write trade terms (royal blue, padparadscha) for their dubious gems. We spoke to a dealer who used to brag about giving them thousands of dollars of business monthly, and finally decided to boycott them entirely when they refused to write "royal blue" on a particularly important stone of his (large and fine) that was just a tad too reddish. We've even bought padparadschas and re-submitted them for LIBS checks, only for them to tell us that under new standards, this is no longer padparadscha (so we lost out). Etc. etc. etc.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
9,163
One of my friends is a gemstone dealer who lives in Sri Lanka, sometimes I've purchased sapphires from him with these certificates I always get them checked at places like Lotus and AGL or GIA just to be sure. I've never had an issue with certificates being incorrect as far as treatments, such as heating or not treated. Generally they get that part right.

They can be overly zealous (which is a polite way of saying generous) with their colour descriptions and I've had stones where the origin has been incorrect. So for example a stone they claim is Madagascar origin is actually Sri Lanka origin or somewhere else when sent to somewhere like Lotus which IMHO is one of the better places of the three labs I use for determining sapphire origin.

Keep in mind, incorrect origin has only happened a small number of times.
 
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