Feb 10, 2014
Appraisals and GIA Reports Taking Longer and Longer
Over the past 6 months at least we have noticed the turnaround time for Independent Appraisals are taking 2-3 times longer to prepare than they were just one year ago. As a result we now work with two independent appraisers in Toronto who have experience and practical hands on knowledge of Natural Fancy Color Diamonds, (which by the way is not an easy feat in a world where most gemologists have never even seen a diamonds of this rarity).
We are also experiencing delays through GIA (Gemological Institute of America) , where grading reports used to take five to ten days can now take as long as up to 55 days.
According to a recent report on Rapaport
“The recent delays have stemmed from a steady rise in demand for certificates as the GIA’s intake has increased sharply in the past year, which has led to a buildup of inventory at its laboratories”.
Thomas Moses, GIA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer told Rapaport News
“the company’s inventory is currently more than 50 percent above normal levels due to an “exceptional intake of diamonds.”
We know that there is a growing awareness, interest and demand from investors with natural fancy color diamonds that has been steadily growing for the past few years in particular.
This is evidenced by senior GIA industry analyst Russell Shor in an interview he gave last year with GIA entitled “Why are the Finest Fancy-Color Diamonds found at Auction” *
The growing trend of investing in color diamonds can be proven since the demand for colour diamond grading has increased 102% since 1999.
Clearly these delays are indicative of the growing interest and acquisitions of diamonds both colorless and natural fancy color diamonds as well as gemstones. When individuals purchase rarer goods, they are seeking greater assurances in their assets.
Jonathan Kendal, head of operations at Forevermark, the De Beers diamond brand says
“There’s been a slow momentum in the past seven years that has led to greater demand for diamond certification,” Kendall said. “It has now become the norm that people expect to have something to confirm what they are buying.”
To meet the rising demands GIA is in the midst of an aggressive expansion plan which includes India, Thailand and a larger facility in New York. This will take time to develop, with training and infrastructure so this transition will take some time until more normal turnaround times are realized.
I foresee demand continuing to rise, particularly with smaller stones (think Argyle pinks, and other fancy colors) and emerging economies continuing to invest in diamonds as a store of wealth. It will be interesting indeed to see how reporting keeps up with every growing demand for certificates and appraisals.