Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
freddier

Gemmological Institute of Southern Africa - Gemstone Reports

Recommended Posts

freddier    10
freddier

I do not know whether my suspicions are jusitfied, but for certain gemstones being offered on BOB, the gemstone images shown in the listings are exactly the same as the gemstone images on the gemstone reports of "Gemmological Institute of Southern Africa". Does anyone have any information on the credibility of GISA or the qualifications of their gemmologists?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lukeness    10
Lukeness

Hi freddier,

 

While it's not something I've advertised here, I am in fact the laboratory director at GISA.

 

You are correct, the images are often the same. We do allow people with professional photgraphs to supply them for use on the certificates PROVIDING the picture is an accurate representation of the actual item which we physically examine. If the photograph is not accurate in any way it is rejected. Gemstone photography is notoriously difficult so we feel this is in fact a great positive step for full disclosure and honest selling.

 

As for our credibility, we are recognized both locally and abroad and have even been honoured by very prestigious organisations, including one established and run by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

 

I myself am a Registered Gemologist and a Registered Gemologist Appraiser as well as being directly involved with several international universities as an advisor on their gemmology curriculum and certain other aspects.

 

I am also president of both the African Gem Society and Gemmological Society of South Africa as well as being a member of various other international organisations.

 

Please feel free to post any questions you have regarding GISA reports here on the forum. I will be happy to answer them any time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
motherearth    10
motherearth

hi Luke, I don't think anyone can doubt your credentials , you have been actively involved in this forum for a long time and your input has been of great help to many people, both sellers and buyers.

 

I think the idea of using the customers images is a good one, so you are not only verifying the stone in question but also that the photographs are accurate! This will make things a lot easier for customers on BOB! , knowing that a qualified gemologist has checked both the stone and the images!

 

in my opinion excellent!

 

cheers

 

Jeff.

 

PS - perhaps open a new topic in the gemstone section, where buyers can post questions regarding any certificate? .... as we have always said, the more people involved, and the more open everything is.... the better it will be for everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
freddier    10
freddier

Hi Lukeness - thanks for the feedback. It is comforting to know that certificates as supplied by GISA may be trusted as there are such a lot of fraudulent things going on in the gem trade these days.

 

By the way, where did you complete your gemmological studies?

 

I am a geologist and have recently also completed the Foundation Certificate in Gemmology through the Gemmological Association of Great Britain and I am planning on doing their diploma in due course.

 

Kind regards

Freddier

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lukeness    10
Lukeness

Hi Freddier,

 

Contact me via PM and I can tell you all about. Don't want to go too off topic.

 

The Gem-A courses are excellent.

 

Luke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PrimoGems    10
PrimoGems

Hi all, I must be honest I was thinking the same thing as Freddier it does really seem very odd to have the same picture on the certificate as the listing but as Lukeness says it’s possible.

I inherited a couple of Ice cream tubs full of gemstones and Diamonds. Being new to all of this I am also starting to send the gemstones to Von Willig in order to have them certified. With the amount of stones my Grandfather left I would have sworn that he was a smuggler. Anyway, requiring some piece of mind in knowing what all these stones are, I was informed to send them to a lab aswell.

I have noticed that a certain seller has listed two different certificates for one stone. The one certificate was from GISA and the other from a lab in Tokyo. What I did see is that both the certificates were dated exactly the same. As I am quite new to the industry, I just want some piece of mind, whether this is possible? Do the labs have the stone in their possession when they certify it or is it done with the word of the owner of the stone. Do they check it and send the certificate back to you a couple of days later or how does it work?

When I send my stones to Von Willig, I pick them up a few days later and I receive the certificate at the same time. So, the way I see it, two labs would not be able to date the certificates exactly the same date Correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lukeness    10
Lukeness

You are quite correct. We see every single stone that we report on and examine them thoroughly. It is always possible that there has been a type error on the report. We work off a template and this is quite possible.

Every report is verifiable and be have records of every stone we have examined and all the details found.

I can't comment on the exact stone you are talking about as I am not sure which one it is. If there is an error on any of our reports we will gladly correct it and supply a replacement report with the correct details.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PrimoGems    10
PrimoGems

Hi thank you for your reply, I'm not saying there is something wrong with the certificate authorities, as I would just like to understand their work process better. The following link is also a good example of the above quistion. http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/14700305/DOUBLE_CERTIFIED_UNHEATED_SAPPHIRE_1_36CT_GENUINE_INDEPENDANT_VALUATION_R27690.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lukeness    10
Lukeness

Thanks PrimoS,

I appreciate your bring this to my attention. My database shows this stone was sent to us and all the details except for the date, are accurate. The date should have been July 24.

My apologies for this, the error in on our part. I've noticed this happened to a few of the reports issued on the same day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TacoBell    10
TacoBell

GISA Identification Reports

 

Hi Lukeness,

 

I am new on BoB and was interested in some stones having the GISA certification.

 

My concerns were raised when I read the feedback on http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/14776824/CERTIFIED_BIG_SIZE_3_01CT_UNTREATED_CHAMPAGNE_DIAMOND_ONLY_THE_BEST_DIAMONDS_FROM_SOLLYZAR.html

and due to this, I have decided to decline putting a bid on the items I were interessted in.

 

Due to me living outside of RSA, I did a google search on GISA and was directed to the following site:

http://www.gisa.org.za/ which is the site for "Genealogiese Instituut van Suid-Afrika"

 

This made me wonder as I was expected to be directed to the "Gemmology Institute of Southern Africa ...

After a long and hard search - I finally got to http://www.gemsociety.co.za which doesn't look like an accredited site recognised by any of the GIA/EGL/FOSAGAMS societies??

 

In some cases - the clarity which in my mind is VERY IMPORTANT infomation, is missing from this GISA Reports - how is this possible??:

 

http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/15064594/EXCEPTIONAL_AAAAA_GISA_CERTIFIED_5_52CT_VIOLET_BLUE_TANZANITE_INVESTMENT_JEWEL.html

 

http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/15249253/CERTIFIED_7_42ct_NEON_PINK_TOURMALINE_NAMIBIA_ONLY_THE_FINEST_FROM_SOLLOYZAR.html

 

are only 2 examples found

 

There are no address/contact details on the reports which make it look like a fly by night operation...

 

I have also noticed that these reports are only used by some of the sellers which made me wonder if this is not a quick way to con people not knowing the difference between a proper GIA/EGL certificate vs. this GISA identification reports not even listing all the important factors?

 

Is GISA Identification Reports really a true representation of the items being sold? I think not!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alloway65    10
alloway65

Hi TacoBell,

I for one will be interested in detailed answers to your very good questions.

I have reservations about 99.90% of gemstone certifications on BoB!

Happy Spring Day.

David.:confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lukeness    10
Lukeness

Hi TacoBell.

 

You seem more than a little confused.

 

Neither EGL, GIA nor FOSAGAMS accredit anything. They are private organisations themselves.

 

I fail to see the relevance in your web search. Does something's existence now depend on the results of your google search? I think that's a little naive, to say the least.

 

There ARE in fact both address and contact details on every certificate. You merely have to turn it over and see all the details on the other side...

 

You are also very clearly not familiar with gem reports. There are various levels of reports, both with and without gradings. This applies to major gem labs world wide. Something you should know since you speak with such conviction and use an accusatory tone. Perhaps you should check your facts before jumping to conclusions or simply maming things up as you go...

 

Mini gem identification reports are just that, IDENTIFICATION. They do not include grading as a standard but provide assurance that the item is genuine.

 

As to the example you have shown where somebody complained... I have checked the details and seen the stone a second time and stand by the information provided in the report. The opinions of some jewellers who are neither qualified or equipped are irrelevant and are often giving through resentment.

 

I also must question why a user who it NOT registered on the Bid or Buy site would come here in order to sow nonsense like this on their very first post. I sense an alterior motive. Your information is misleading or downright false. Please try trolling elsewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
qball    10
qball

Note to all. Personal attacks will not be tolerated on the forum. Please do not force me to close this thread.

 

Thank you.

Cuan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
watermelon101    10
watermelon101

GISA IS NEW so lets give it a chance , how abuot

supporting a reliable proudly south african product

as a standerd to ensure authentisity of our stones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PrimoGems    10
PrimoGems

I agree, support SA companies and well done to GISA. I think the way TacoBell came across was a little harsh he should have used more tact. Honestly a website would not be a bad investment as It does give more exposure and educates the uneducated and it really gives guys in SA an easy way to find GISA. This way guys can submit the stones and find where they are in SA which will give GISA more business and growth and one day as a South African you will know what an EGL certificate is but rather have a GISA one as we all know we are proudly South African.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lukeness    10
Lukeness

Thanks very much for your support.

 

We are having a website made up and currently have a very basic placeholder on our domain. We want to do it right and have a great looking website with proper search engine optimization and online report verification so this will take a little longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GemDeals    10
GemDeals
Hi Lukeness,

 

I am new on BoB and was interested in some stones having the GISA certification.

 

 

Is GISA Identification Reports really a true representation of the items being sold? I think not!

 

Hi TacoBell,

 

Take a look at this certificate here:

 

http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/jsp/item/Item.jsp?Trade_TradeId=15459512

 

Done at the Emil laboratory in thailand. (One of the best in thailand)

 

1st, notice on the back is the contact details.

 

2nd, No clarity given, just transparency.

 

3rd, notice the size.

 

The report I provide with this stone is similar to gisa's. This is just an basic certification to verify the stone is natural, untreated and what type of gem.

 

They offer several reports, from the cheaper "identification only" to a full report that reports origin and everything from the RI index to the color under different sources of light!

 

So you are asking, Why?

 

Cost, generally speaking time is money. Gemologist grade clarity by a strict set of "rules" and that takes time

 

I,e they need to carefully study the gem to reach a accurate conclusion of the inclusions. ( :D ) and that costs per hour

 

So where lets say you have a sapphire (1ct) and you have it certified this is how it will work:

 

Basic identification:

1 Credit card sized certificate:

 

they check what stone it is and if it is natural = takes 20 minutes = $10

 

Mid level:

2 credit card size certificate:

 

add Treatment = takes 30 minutes= $20

 

high level:

Full page

 

add clarity, RI index , how good the cut of the stone is. = takes 40min= $30

 

Very High level:

1-4 pages

 

add origin, chemical composition, picture , exact color, if there is any color change and a whole mess of other things. = takes an hour= $40

 

 

These prices/times are just an example, each gemological laboratory has it's own tests and usually some will only be done on request and will cost per hour. For an example of that the person i use locally has a per hour charge of R650 or per stone per a price chart.

 

This means, for sapphire he charges R200 per carat. ruby R230 Per carat. and these prices DON'T even include clarity. that costs R110 extra per CT. ;)

 

 

Valuations are extra, at an reasonable R50 per carat. Which is done by a valuation guide similar to that jewelers use.

 

Hope that explains some of the questions raised. (It's a bit late so some things may be wrong above please feel free to give me a klap and I will correct it tomorrow.)

 

If you want taco, rather send me or lukeness a p.m and we can explain in more detail. You can actually call e.g.l too and ask them how it works. Just please ask to speak to the gemmologist as their secretary's should not be asked anything about gemstones!!! :D

 

I have used lukeness's services before, no problems. ;)

 

 

Cheers,

 

Chris.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LilJon    10
LilJon

RE: GISA not worth the scrap its written on..

 

Hi,

 

As a new buyer to this site, I tend to agree with the opening post. GISA might be run by a gemologist but they are a far cry from actually getting any type of recognition. Its obvious that SollyZar uses GISA as a facade for a certification. I read other posts about devious home made certificates and this to me falls in the same category. Its obvious in the manner in which they run the scheme. The same dates on the 2 different lab certificates in 2 different countries, wow??? :eek:

 

Heres a piece that I was interested in, but lost all faith in GISA and SollyZar.

 

http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/15569664/CERTIFIED_UNHEATED_WINZA_RUBY_1_03CT_GENUINE_INDEPENDANT_VALUATION_R32960.html

 

So what is it, a ruby or a sapphire :confused: The picture on the GISA certificate and Sollyzar is the same. Very confusing for a new buyer. If its another mistake by GISA then I think its time they quit their lab. Or is SollyZar trying to sell a sapphire as a Ruby :confused:

 

Anyway I have also attached the pictures here...

 

CERTIFIED UNHEATED WINZA RUBY - 1.03CT - GENUINE INDEPENDANT VALUATION R32960

 

 

dvs60372C.jpg

 

dvs60337a.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lukeness    10
Lukeness

Perhaps you should educate yourself a little more before jumping to conclusions.

If you did, you would know that Ruby and Sapphire are both Corundum. IE they are they same stone.

The distinction is only between the colours, nothing else. The distinction between ruby and pink sapphire is also very subjective and this particular stone falls slap in the middle of it. It would be called either depending on who you spoke too. Regardless, the information remains correct.

 

You might have also looked further and noticed that there are quite a few sellers on BoB using the GISA reports, not just Sollyzar.

 

I find it very strange that each time someone tries to discredit us the discussion is initiated from an unrated buyer who clearly has no experience with either the vendors or the reports.

 

 

Hi,

 

As a new buyer to this site, I tend to agree with the opening post. GISA might be run by a gemologist but they are a far cry from actually getting any type of recognition. Its obvious that SollyZar uses GISA as a facade for a certification. I read other posts about devious home made certificates and this to me falls in the same category. Its obvious in the manner in which they run the scheme. The same dates on the 2 different lab certificates in 2 different countries, wow??? :eek:

 

Heres a piece that I was interested in, but lost all faith in GISA and SollyZar.

 

http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/15569664/CERTIFIED_UNHEATED_WINZA_RUBY_1_03CT_GENUINE_INDEPENDANT_VALUATION_R32960.html

 

So what is it, a ruby or a sapphire :confused: The picture on the GISA certificate and Sollyzar is the same. Very confusing for a new buyer. If its another mistake by GISA then I think its time they quit their lab. Or is SollyZar trying to sell a sapphire as a Ruby :confused:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LilJon    10
LilJon
Perhaps you should educate yourself a little more before jumping to conclusions.

If you did, you would know that Ruby and Sapphire are both Corundum. IE they are they same stone.

The distinction is only between the colours, nothing else. The distinction between ruby and pink sapphire is also very subjective and this particular stone falls slap in the middle of it. It would be called either depending on who you spoke too. Regardless, the information remains correct.

 

You might have also looked further and noticed that there are quite a few sellers on BoB using the GISA reports, not just Sollyzar.

 

I find it very strange that each time someone tries to discredit us the discussion is initiated from an unrated buyer who clearly has no experience with either the vendors or the reports.

 

Hi Lukeness,

 

It is obvious that before a purchase, some sort of information is required. When the information is contradictory it is worrying for a buyer. I am not here to stir any controversy, rather to educate myself on making a good purchase.

 

You should be glad that questions are posed for you to eradicate any doubt in the lab reports. For example, you say that Sapphire and Ruby is the same then why not have a uniform type of grading for the same type. 2 rubies that are decribed using the same wording, origin etc look very similar to me as a layman but 1 graded as a saphire and the other as a ruby with winza characterisitics. Im sure you would agree it looks a little deceiving dont you think??

 

dvs60852a.jpg

 

dvs60853C.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lukeness    10
Lukeness

Hi Jon,

 

My apologies for coming across as abrasive, I am a little jaded by past experience and was offended by the idea that we would be associated with any "scheme".

 

The line that separates Ruby from pink Sapphire is both tenuous and subjective. In reality is that the particular stone could in fact have been graded as either without comeback. Our gradings are very uniform but we also do an extremely large amount (probably the most, or very close to the most, coloured stone gradings per week in SA) so this has to be looked at proportionately.

 

Each and every stone is microscopically examined and tested in a variety of ways and I've noticed lately that members of the trade have even suggested that out gradings are too strict and values a little low. I would prefer to er on the side of caution and keep it that way.

 

I hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GemDeals    10
GemDeals

"Sapphires come in all colors except red, which is called ruby"

 

Any sapphire with red in it can be classified as ruby, although I personally don't agree with it...

 

P.s, I recently saw a ruby with one side a stunning blue color and the other a vivid red. What a sight... and the certificate said it was a ruby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Diamond_Dave    10
Diamond_Dave

Hi Tacobell

 

Thank for for an interesting post and you have brought some valid concerns to the table. Firstly, I have dealt with all of the anchor labs and let me reassure you that mistakes do happen with larger institutions as well. EGL international has raised some eyebrows more often than you think and I have had one confrontation with GIA over omission of a secondary undertone.

 

I think GISA fills a much needed gap in the south african industry. They are versatile and innovative but are also relatively new in the industry and frankly, there is a lot of work there so I am assuming grossly understaffed too. To test the process, I did send a parcel to them and they were spot on the money. There are areas that do need attention and this will only come about with the constructive critism you have shared with us - well done. I think you will find that this will shortly become the lab of choice in south africa and they need all the support we can give them.

 

To answer your questions:

 

The contact details and disclosure is on the back of the certificate.

 

Clarity is an important consideration in white diamonds but less so in coloured diamonds even less still in tanzanite and tourmaline which are comparatively "clean" by nature. Think of it as being the 6th "C" of importance and if you want to know all about it, you must pay. While I too would like to see clarity stated in the certificate for these stones, I think that you will find that your broker could easily have paid in a bit more to have this and other traits included in a full certificate.

 

How spoilt we are by the internet to demand a website :) Contact details on request and a website will soon be available. If you have ever tried to contact EGLusa by email or skype, you will know that it can sometimes be a painful procedure.

 

All in all, a good post...but please people be nice and you will get the answers you want.

 

Hope that helps you.

 

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shoron    10
shoron

Hi All

 

It is interesting to read the comments (some genuinely valid questions) and thanks for the replies, however, it would be prudent that the person should always get the facts straight first before discrediting the seller or the gem reports - or alternatively, ask politely ! Sollyzar is one (amongst few other sellers) on Bob that are honest and from whom you can buy with confidence. The certificates are provided for peace of mind at no extra charge, and frankly I for one would settle for a GISA certificate anyday compared to a "Gemval appraisal" or some other home made certificate with ridiculously inflated values ! At the end of the day, as a simple rule if one is unsure, simply dont bid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gems4ever    10
gems4ever

Validity

 

I have exactly the same concerns! Even the website is "dodgy" . I am a seller, and am astinished by the "certificates" on the site of some sellers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×