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Sustaining Firm Spotlight: Gem Certification & Assurance Lab, Inc.

One of 2023’s biggest news stories in the jewelry industry has been the agreement between AGS members Sarine Technologies and Gem Certification & Assurance Lab, Inc., better known as GCAL. In January, Sarine announced that it had signed an intent to acquire a majority stake in the diamond grading lab.

“The partnership with Sarine enables us to further our technological capabilities,” noted Angelo Palmieri, GCAL’s COO and partner.


Since its inception, GCAL has been very involved in the industry and is a proud member of several jewelry associations, including the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, Appraisal Society of America, Jewelers Board of Trade, MJSA, and the 24 Karat Club, and most recently, AGS.

GCAL’s founders, Don and Pam Palmieri, have had a long and rich history in the jewelry industry. In 1999 they were contracted to open an internal lab for one of the first online sellers of diamonds to the public. They founded Gem Certification & Assurance Lab, Inc. in 2001.

Within a couple of years, GCAL acquired a light performance laboratory, incorporating a scientifically-based technology for quantifying and demonstrating the optical brilliance and optical symmetry of diamonds.

Angelo joined the firm in 2005 as both COO and partner. Since then, GCAL has continued to expand its services and verified processes. “We’ve had the great fortune of hiring some of the industry’s finest gemologists and technicians for our GCAL Team,” said Angelo.

GCAL offers a suite of certification, identification, and forensic services for natural and laboratory-grown diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry. “GCAL’s mission is to provide gemological services with uncompromising integrity and unparalleled customer care,” said Angelo.

From the outset, the company has been focused on innovation and technology. “We are constantly looking to improve our process and add relevant, useful, visual, and analytical information to our certificates,” said Angelo. “A primary intent is to aid our customers in making confident and informed decisions when choosing a diamond.”

To that end, GCAL continues to introduce and add new technologies and upgrade existing technologies and systems through acquisitions and integration and by adding new products like the 8X® premium diamond cut grade. The recently announced partnership with Sarine is another advancement in this mission.

GCAL offers a money-back consumer guarantee, and they also offer direct assessment light performance for optical brilliance and symmetry, high-quality 360° videos and Fire videos, and direct assessment Hearts & Arrows. All images on GCAL certificates are actual photos, including high-resolution photomicrographs of the diamonds taken through the crown and pavilion.

GCAL 8X Cert & Cover copy
GCAL 8X Certificate and Cover
8X Logo with 3 Stones
8X Ultimate Diamond Cut Grade
GCAL 5 Star Certificates
GCAL 5 Star Certificates

“We wanted to join AGS because protecting the consumer is the reason for and focus of our existence,” said Angelo. “It is included in our Mission Statement, explained throughout our website, and discussed in webinars and videos. Consumer protection is proven in our grading guarantees. Our ISO 17025 Forensic Accreditation substantiates it. And it is a promise we make every single day to our retailer and supplier customers and the ultimate consumer.”

“With the Sarine agreement, we can add services like Diamond Journey Traceability to our products,” said Angelo. “And we have now introduced AI Color and AI Clarity diamond grading to the U.S. market. Recently, GCAL introduced the 8X Cut Grade for Patented and Proprietary Shapes, and we will soon introduce two new shapes to the program, cushion and radiant, with other traditional shapes coming online this year. All this will provide extraordinary benefits and advantages to the AGS community and the entire diamond and jewelry industry.”

For more information about GCAL, visit

NEW GCAL 8X Proprietary Shapes
New GCAL 8X Proprietary Shapes