Curious Details of GIA’s July Lab Staff Layoffs

Gary Roskin
Roskin Gem News Report

In late July, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), one of the world’s leading authority in gemology, cut approximately 150 staff members, primarily at its Carlsbad, California corporate headquarters.

Speaking to Stephen Morisseau, GIA’s director of communications, these layoffs were mainly for the reduction of diamond grading staff at its Carlsbad gem lab. There were also staff cuts in “some corporate functions,” according to Morisseau.

Is AI to Blame?

As to the rumors that AI grading is the premise for the layoffs, this is not true, according to GIA. “Anyone who’s reading any of the truly skilled writers in the diamond industry trade press would know that there is a general slowdown and that is the reason for the recent reductions at GIA.”

“As we’ve stated over and over again, artificial intelligence automation machine learning can be part of the grading process, but there’s always going to be a need for skilled, experienced, expert graders.”

What about Indian Goods?

We have read numerous articles, including several here in the Roskin Gem News Report, noting that Indian diamond manufacturers do not have any sanctions regarding the processing of Russian diamonds. And while GIA did not reduce grading staff in India, Morisseau made GIA’s policies perfectly clear.

“In general,” says Morisseau, “GIA is not accepting goods of known Russian origin. And our our client agreement states that people submitting stones to us have to apply with all applicable governmental regulations.”

And we will again note that there are no governmental regulations, i.e. sanctions on Russian goods, in India.

This situation potentially places GIA in a position where the lab may be unknowingly grading Russian diamonds. One might expect that these observations could present a challenge to GIA’s commitment to upholding high standards of transparency and traceability while balancing its concern for maintaining a robust diamond grading business in India.

See our feature on Ukraine, Russia, and SRK diamond manufacturers in Jaipur.

According to a recent article reporting on a similar issue in, “GIA now has approximately 600 employees in California. The GIA’s total workforce worldwide is around 3,500.” 

Roskin Gem News Report
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