Home       Technology / Education       Events & News       Archives       Designs       e - NewsLetter
IGI Leadership is the result of over 16 years of hard work in the GCC and Middle Eastern region

IGI reports play a vital role in maintaining consumer confidence

Nico D’Haemer
Managing Director - IGI Dubai
The New Jeweller UAE bureau spoke to Nico D’Haemer of International Gemological Institute [IGI] in Dubai and understood the reason behind the leadership status that IGI enjoys in Dubai and the GCC region. In this exclusive he also opines on the importance on the 3rd edition of Dubai Diamond Conference. Excerpts:

The Dubai Diamond Conference is slated to be organised during the month of October with a large number of International Diamond mining companies, Bankers and Industry members participating. What in your opinion is the significance of this Diamond Conference?

The Dubai Diamond Conference has gained an international reputation for identifying the issues which impact the global industry. I am sure the agenda for 2017 is critical to the diamond industry and will help understand and plan business in the coming year.

IGI has been enjoying a leadership status in Dubai and other GCC countries in the last many years of operation. In brief tell us the challenges that you faced in the region and how have you successfully overcome the same?

The leadership status is the result of hard and persistent work.

In 1996, looking at the potential development of Dubai and the other neighbouring countries in Middle East, IGI realised that the diamond industry was buzzing. The volume of gold trading was huge. Therefore in 1997, IGI started to conduct its first Polished Diamond and Colored Stone Identification Courses in collaboration with the Gold & Jewellery Group.

In 2001, motivated by the vision that the market is becoming a key player in the diamond and precious gemstones trade,and a growing demand for independent certification, IGI opened a laboratory which received Dubai Municipality & ISO 9001:2000 accreditations in 2004. Having completed 16 years in Dubai, IGI’s Diamond, Fine Jewelry and Colored Stone certificates have given a boost to jewellers, which facilitates their sale and presentation. Customers are thereby assured of their most precious selection. The IGI reports attest to the quality of diamonds, precious stones and fine jewelry items; they play a vital role in maintaining consumer confidence.

Is there a vulnerability witnessed in the GCC region towards “Pricing” for rendering services towards certification and grading business? If yes, do you think this is healthy for the sector, especially the Diamond segment?

Pricing has always been an issue and I am not saying that this issue exists only in our industry. However, in any service industry, pricing is always being compared with competitors, while not necessarily considering the nature and quality of service that is being offered. Having said that, our pricelist has remained constant since the time we started our laboratory in Dubai. We as an independent laboratory have our overhead expenses – training, research, not to mention the latest equipment’s etc; this is why IGI is recognised and utilized worldwide.

There are a number of Identification equipment’s for distinguishing Lab grown from Natural Diamonds available in the market. Please tell us about the importance of the same and about IGI’s technological advancements towards servicing the gem and jewellery sector in the region?

IGI developed instruments and acquired other instruments that enable our labs to distinguish man-made from natural diamonds. As in any assessment, scientific testing is done by elimination, allowing to reach a conclusion; our team of scientific experts are constantly monitoring the evolution of man-made diamonds so as to make sure that all analysis procedures are kept up to date.

What is your opinion on the importance of retail as well as consumer awareness concerning Lab grown Diamonds? What are the steps according to you that the industry should take?

As is the case with any new technology the known processes for growing man-made diamond is evolving. Consumers have to be made aware of the difference in origin when it comes to man-made v/s natural diamonds. The one and only way to ensure this is full and proper disclosure. The IGI reports are abundantly clear; the very first line of any diamond report will state “description”. This is the field of the report which defines the origin of the diamond.

Tell us something about the IGI Online service that is initiated for the benefit of your esteemed clients. How useful is it for the trade?

Initially, IGI diamond grading reports were online, however, we have moved one step ahead for customer satisfaction, by offering our customers in the Middle Eastern region ‘Jewellery Reports’ online. This service was available in other locations of IGI through its global offices and is now available in Dubai and the entire GCC region. All customers of IGI whether retailer, manufacturer or consumer can now view their respective jewellery reports by logging on to www.igiworldwide.com. This facility indeed saves time for the customer as he/she verifies the authenticity of the IGI Jewellery Report as well. Online reports give the retailer, consumer or manufacturer total transparency as they can in turn invite their respective customers to view the reports online. This builds trust among the trade and is immensely beneficial to the overall business in the region.