What is the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)?


The GIA was launched by Robert M. Shipley in 1931, who also founded the American Gem Society (AGS) three years later. The GIA has adopted the highest possible standards for valuing diamonds and other precious gemstones as a non-profit organisation. A true authority in the world of buying and selling diamonds.


What is GIA’s mission?

GIA’s founder, Robert M. Shipley, had a tremendous impact on the world of gems. Shipley recognized the need for a comprehensive, international approach for understanding and evaluating gemstones. Without it, confusion and distrust would reign both at home and abroad. Shipley founded the Gemological Institute of America in 1931, not only as a place for gemological study and research, but also as an educational facility where gem knowledge could be organized and shared with the public. His goal, and the Institute’s enduring principles, are clearly reflected in GIA’s mission statement:


“Ensure the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science and professionalism through education, research, laboratory services and instrument development.”


What is a GIA certificate?

The certificates which state the 4C’s and other quality or identity characteristics are also an innovation introduced by the GIA and the AGS. Whoever is interested in buying diamonds would be best off always relying on the GIA certificate, or a certificate issued by one of the other most renowned laboratories, i.e. the IGI or HRD.

Today, GIA has 14 locations spread across 13 countries. With 10 campuses, 9 grading and gem identification labs, 5 lab take-in locations and 4 research centers, GIA has a presence in all of the major gem and jewelry centers around the world. GIA has trained more than 365,000 students since it was founded in 1931.

The Institute’s diamond graders, researchers and educators are regarded as the world’s experts on gemology. Together, we carry on GIA’s proud tradition of research, discovery, and education.