In a thunderous new editorial, Rapaport Group chairman Martin Rapaport called the overgrading of diamonds by certain labs a “significant threat” to the industry that could lead to angry customers demanding refunds from jewelers.
“If a critical mass of consumers is made aware of the overgrading of their diamonds, and they are unable to get their money back…we can expect a publicly driven social media blast against diamonds, the likes of which we have never seen or can barely imagine,” said the editorial, which the company emailed to 77,000 trade members and well as the press.
He warned that retailers that sell overgraded diamonds “best be prepared to buy them back or go out of business.… You should also consider that even if you agree to buy back the diamonds from consumers, an enterprising lawyer might still claim that you defrauded clients by not providing full disclosure of quality and subject you to a lawsuit demanding triple damages.”
Rapaport also lambasted a statement from EGL International (which he accused of overgrading), in which EGL said that no single internationally accepted diamond-grading standard exists. He called it an attack on the “foundation of our industry.”