IGI Israel opted to expand into a 3,500 square foot workspace, up from its original 1,200 square foot office, which opened last September. The laboratory will continue to be housed in the Yahalom Building.
"We know the current economic situation is difficult and more than ever, Israel needs a major laboratory to support efficient and successful trades within the industry," noted IGI CEO Roland Lorié. "We look forward to providing the area with better and faster gemological services in our new space."
Israel is one of the major exporters of polished diamonds and the majority of them are certified. In an annual list of Israel's largest polished diamond exporters (published by the Israel Diamond Controller's Office in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor), all experienced a drop in polished exports in 2008, reflecting the trend experienced throughout the industry. Israel's total polished exports stood at $6.240 billion in 2008, a drop of 12 percent over 2007 when they totaled $7.075 billion - commendable figures in the current economic times.
Prior to the Israel lab opening last September, IGI had maintained a strong presence in the Israel jewelry industry for over eight years through its Diamond Window Service - an exclusive collection and distribution service that allowed clients to deposit items to be sent to the full-service IGI Antwerp laboratory. IGI was the first lab to introduce a window service to the Israeli market and its popularity was exhibited by the continually increasing volume of diamonds submitted. As a result of this success, and the fact that Israel is one of the three largest diamond wholesale markets in the world, IGI opted to open the full-service gem-testing laboratory in Ramat Gan.
With 12 other laboratories spanning the globe, as well as representation in Italy and Turkey, IGI continues to expand its international certification services to meet the needs of the industry.
Plans for an IGI Israel Gemological School continue to be made, which will afford the Israeli diamond and gemstone industry the opportunity to earn a globally recognized IGI diploma in gemology.
The International Gemological Institute, the world's largest independent laboratory for testing and evaluating gemstones and fine jewelry, was established in 1975 in Antwerp and is located in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, Hong Kong, Mumbai, the Seepz Zone, Kolkata, New Delhi, Dubai, Bangkok, Tokyo and Tel Aviv. IGI is an ISO accredited worldwide organization. For more information, please visit www.igiworldwide.com.