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A Trusted Gemmology Resource

The Gemmological Institute of America expands its laboratory in Hong Kong to better support the thriving jewellery market in the region.

When choosing diamonds, one always look for the quality of 4Cs — colour, clarity, cut and carat weight. This world recognised International Diamond Grading SystemTM  was in fact invented by The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) in 1953. This independent non-profit institute has been offering knowledge, setting standards and supporting education in precious gems and jewellery since its establishment in the US in 1931. 

Thanks to Hong Kong’s population of 7.3 million and 56 million annual visitors, plus proximity to Mainland China’s growing consumer market, complement with its large talent pool, and the proliferation of trusted jewellery retailers in the city, GIA began offering laboratory services in Hong Kong in 2008. It went on to establish a full grading laboratory in 2010 to focus on gem grading, identification reports and certification. Today, along with its recently expanded Kowloon Bay laboratory housing more than 200 staff, the second largest laboratory out of the headquarters in the US, GIA offers a service centre in Central to facilitate convenient stone drop-off and pick-up for its clients. 

“Hong Kong is one of the most important gem and jewellery centres in the world, making it an important location for GIA,” explained Thomas Moses, Executive Vice President and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer. “As demand for our services increased, we expanded our capacity for laboratory services in Hong Kong to better meet the needs of our clients. The services will remain the same: evaluation of D to Z and yellow diamonds, coloured stones and pearls. We plan to further expand our staff over the next two years.” 

An Educational Resource 

Alongside its testing and certification services, GIA sees itself as an educational resource for those who wish to learn more about gemmology. “GIA has offered education programmes in Hong Kong since 1994 — we recently celebrated our 25th anniversary,” noted Moses. 

Moses feels that InvestHK has helped pave the way for GIA’s expansion as it grew. “Our goal is always to provide excellent service to our laboratory clients and students,” he stated. “We will continue to monitor the market and needs of the industry so that we can provide those services as we work to advance our consumer protection mission. That said, the services that InvestHK provides are most useful for anyone seeking to expand in Hong Kong.”


Fast Facts

  • Founded in 1931, its Hong Kong laboratory is the second largest outside of its California headquarters
  • Since its establishment in 2010 with 40 graders, the Hong Kong lab has grown to more than 200 employees
  • The GIA school in Hong Kong offers day and night classes in gemmology and jewellery design

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