Diamond Commission debates issues related to grading ethics

The Diamond Commission held a lengthy debate relating to issues that were addressed in the Grading and Laboratory Ethics Special Session on Monday. The meeting, which was chaired by Diamond Commission President Udi Sheintal, discussed the three main themes that emerged from that gathering which suggested using CIBJO as an auditing body for labs, creating a guidance book by CIBJO on grading, and a program to educate the trade and ultimately retailers, on how to assess a lab report.

Sector A President Roland Naftule told the meeting that the subject of grading and origin reports was extremely important and that he felt uncomfortable with the idea of not having a further debate until next year.

“The seriousness of this subject needs to be addressed as soon as possible,” Mr. Naftule said. “There has been a lot of bad publicity. There could be a number of lawsuits. Our industry could be extremely damaged if we do not review this quickly. We cannot leave here without finding a way of working together on these issues and talking to the labs to meet and discuss it further and find a solution before it becomes catastrophic. As a group, we can present recommendations on how to proceed."

There followed a lengthy discussion about the standards and terminology of the different grading reports, particularly that of the GIA.

Some members of the audience suggested it was not the work of CIBJO to deal with claims of fraud and misrepresentation regarding grading reports.

Cecilia Gardner, CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, said she did not believe that CIBJO should be involved in auditing work. "It is much too complicated and it is not an appropriate use of CIBJO resources. But we can have a role in guidance."

Alex Popov, the Chairman of the World Diamond Mark had earlier suggested that its guidance, which would be ready in June, could serve as a basis for CIBJO's approach.

James Riley, CEO of Gem-A, said CIBJO had a role in educating the trade about what is right scientifically so that they do not pass on wrong information to consumers.

Meanwhile, Diamond Commission President Sheintal said CIBJO could work to invest more in education so that consumers have the tools available so that they are not mislead.

Photo Caption: Diamond Commission President Udi Sheintal.