The end of the diamond grading game?

Rob Bates

A friend once asked the head of a lab notorious for overgrading how he lived with himself. Simple, the man replied. If I were supplying such a horrible product, why do I have so many customers?

Sad to say, he had a point. The trade (well, a lot of it) has only itself to blame for the current diamond grading mess. As one longtime industry observer told me:

“While the most logical and consumer-friendly strategy would be to arrive at a single, universally harmonized, ISO-recognized grading standard, with a standard nomenclature and one supreme set of master stones, that is not going to happen, and not only because GIA wants to protect its brand (which is does, of course).… The current situation suits everyone…. The labs like the situation because it enables to them to position themselves in the market, generally relative to GIA. The retailers like the situation because they can cherry-pick reports according to what they are selling and who they want to sell to. The consumers should not like the situation, but for the most part they do not even know there is a situation.”

True enough, but that’s for now. As I’ve argued in other contexts, this is a dangerous game to play. As with conflict diamonds, it won’t be pretty if consumers find out.

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Source JCK Online