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  • Gemmological Institute of Southern Africa - Gemstone Reports

    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?

  • #2
    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.


    • #3
      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!



      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!
      Motherearth - Fine Jewelry and Gemstones


      • #4
        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


        • #5
          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.



          • #6
            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 itís 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?
            VIEW MY ITEMS!


            • #7
              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.


              • #8
                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.
                VIEW MY ITEMS!


                • #9
                  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.
                  Last edited by Lukeness; 17-08-09, 12:50.


                  • #10
                    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 OND_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:
           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 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??:



                    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!


                    • #11
                      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.
                      My age is but an irrelevant number !
                      Items I am selling.


                      • #12
                        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.


                        • #13
                          Note to all. Personal attacks will not be tolerated on the forum. Please do not force me to close this thread.

                          Thank you.


                          • #14
                            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


                            • #15
                              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.
                              VIEW MY ITEMS!