Earlier this summer, World Federation of Diamond Bourses President Ernie Blom announced that his organization, along with the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, had drafted and signed a new policy on an issue that’s top-of-mind for retailers today: diamond color grading.
On Thursday, I got the chance to speak with Ronnie Vanderlinden, secretary general of IDMA and president of the Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America, about how exactly this new policy will work.
In a nutshell, the policy stipulates that the color grading of a diamond more than one grade from a “broadly accepted industry benchmark” is unacceptable; in other words, no one should have a diamond that’s widely agreed to be an H color come back as an F or higher.
The “benchmark” is the GIA’s master color sets, which all respectable grading laboratories worldwide have, and the rules and nomenclature outlined by the International Diamond Council, the organization established in 1975 by the WFDB and IDMA.
“The policy stipulates that the color grading of a diamond more than one grade from a “broadly accepted industry benchmark” is unacceptable.”
In the event there is a complaint or challenge about a diamond’s color grade, the policy states that the authorized body involved will submit the diamond to a “leading, respected lab,” such as the GIA, HRD Antwerp or AGS Laboratories, or to three separate recognized expert gemologists or diamantaires. The lab or experts then will determine if the diamond is indeed off more than one color grade.
The punishment meted out to those found to be in violation will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. As an example, though, an offending party could be ordered to compensate the person to whom they sold the over-graded diamond or to take back the stone. Those found to be in continual violation also could face suspension from their respective diamond bourse.
Vanderlinden said he doesn’t know of a policy exactly like this one that’s ever existed in the diamond industry.
Yes, there’ve always have been regulations regarding ethics in the industry, recourse for diamond dealers and manufacturers who bought something that turned out not to be what the seller claimed it was. But there hasn’t been anything nothing that pertained so specifically to color grading, until now.
“Vanderlinden said he doesn’t know of a policy exactly like this one that’s ever existed in the diamond industry.”
Source National Jeweler