Following recent local and international controversy about the over-grading of diamonds, The JAA National Industry Advisory Council has released a list of six independent diamond grading laboratories that it endorses.
1. American Gem Society Laboratories (AGS)
2. Diamond Certification Laboratory of Australia (DCLA)
3. Gemmological Institute of America (GIA)
4. Gem Studies Laboratory (GSL)
5. HRD Antwerp (HRD)
6. International Gemological Institute (IGI)
The JAA said the list of approved laboratories was largely created to address “the increasing number of consumer complaints received by the JAA office regarding over-graded diamonds” and to help JAA members abide by the JAA Jewellery Industry Code of Conduct (Code).
The Code (clause 10 (b)(4))states:
“Retailers shall provide a diamond grading certificate from a reputable diamond grading laboratory for loose diamonds or jewellery containing a diamond equal to or greater than 1.00ct in weight and H/SI2 in colour and clarity or over $10,000.00 (incl. GST) at retail value. The cost of the certificate should be borne by the consumer. Whenever a Clarity Grading is used it must be accompanied by the appropriate grading level e.g. VVS1 or VVS2, not VVS.”
Chair of the Code committee, Colin Pocklington said the committee will rely on the new list when assessing any complaints regarding diamond reports.
“The explanatory preamble that the NIAC has also provided will greatly assist retailers in explaining to consumers what they should expect from a diamond report,” he said.
The JAA added the recent release of Martin Rapaport’s ‘Honest Grading’ report and his decision to band all EGL grading reports from his online diamond trading platform had also played a critical role in the decision to create the list.
“As Australia’s leading jewellery trade association, the JAA is fully supportive of the timely release of Rapaport’s report”, said JAA president Selwyn Brandt. The JAA recognises the need for increased transparency and honesty in the manner in which diamonds are traded and sold to consumers.”
The JAA stressed diamond grading is “a subjective task due to the non-standardised nature of diamonds” but there “are recognised standardised methodologies in place internationally to reduce subjectivity”.
“Grading is intended to quantitatively and qualitatively describe a diamond’s unique characteristics so that any diamond can be identified based on its own Diamond Grading report.
“The JAA recognises independent grading laboratories that work to internationally recognised and respected grading rules and guidelines. Any diamond grading laboratory needs to be independent of the diamond selling process, thereby transparent and free of conflict of interest.”
The JAA also stressed that the list is subject to change over time and will be updated as and when required.