Diamond Groups Call for Grading Crackdown

Sell a bad cert, you might get hurt. 

Selling reports with more than a one-grade difference from the GIA color scale is unacceptable, and dealers who sell overgraded reports may face disciplinary action, according to a new policy endorsed by leading diamond groups. 

The declaration grew out of the recent President’s Meeting in Tel Aviv, Israel, and was endorsed by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, and the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO).

“[A difference] in the color grading of a diamond of more than one grade from a broadly accepted industry benchmark is unacceptable,” reads a document distributed by the three groups.

In the event of a dispute, “the authorized body will submit the diamond to a leading, respected laboratory or to three recognized expert gemologists or diamantaires…[which] shall determine whether the color grading exceeded accepted industry benchmark (GIA and International Diamond Council standards) by more than one grade.” 

If a disparity does occur, the local association will have to decide how to handle it, it says. 

The document does not mention clarity grading. The policy is quite similar to one recently adopted by RapNet.

In a statement, WFDB preisdent Ernest Blom said there will be “zero tolerance” for overgrading.

“This policy statement makes it quite clear that there will be no hiding place for labs who break the rules,” he said. “Doing so cheats members of the diamond and jewelry industries, but it also could have a disastrous effect on consumer confidence.”

Shmuel Schnitzer, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange, says he fully expects to hold members responsible for selling overgraded certs.

“The dealer should be a diamantaire,” he says. “If he gets a G VVS, he should know what that means. In the past people would go to labs to get better results. Now they will be more cautious.”

Schnitzer thinks this will make all labs tighten up their grading. 

“You saw what happened to certain labs,” he says. “That is enough to make any lab realize this is not a joke.”

Reuven Kaufman, president of the Diamond Dealers Club in New York, says the prospect of a being taken to arbitration will make members avoid selling overgraded reports.

“This is a tremendous deterrent right away not to play the certificate game,” he says. “People will think twice about doing things that are not right.”