Rapaport Group chairman Martin Rapaport
Just one month after banning EGL International diamond grading reports on the Rapnet diamond trading website, Rapaport Group chairman Martin Rapaport has called on the jewellery industry to take action against the “systematic over-grading of diamonds”.
In an email sent to members of the jewellery industry around the world, Rapaport reiterated that EGL “has been providing grading reports using GIA terminology while applying alternative standards that overstate diamond grades”.
He also stressed that the practice of over-grading was widespread and thus “a significant threat to the integrity and legitimacy of the diamond industry”.
“I am shocked that numerous dealers and retailers continue to sell over-graded diamonds,” he said. “The rampant over-grading of diamond quality hurts consumers. It must be stopped.”
He urged all members of the jewellery industry to take action by personally contacting the leaders of diamond and jewellery trade organisations and asking them to implement the following trade rules:
1. Recognise that it is an unfair trade practice to sell diamonds using GIA terminology while applying alternative grading standards that overstate the quality of a diamond.
2. Define over-graded diamonds as diamonds graded using GIA terminology that, when verified by the GIA, are more than one colour or one clarity grade lower than the original grade.
3. Make suppliers responsible for what they sell. Require sellers to provide a full refund in the event that they sell over-graded diamonds. Failure to provide the refund, or the continued sale of over-graded diamonds, should result in the member’s suspension.
In an attached article titled Honest Grading, Rapaport added that over-grading is not just a legal issue but an ethical one too.
“Hundreds of thousands of consumers have purchased more than one billion dollars of over-graded diamonds,” he said. “The diamond trade must address the issue of over-graded diamonds in a timely manner.”
“Consumers should be warned about over-grading and directed toward grading reports that provide fair grades.”
To read the full Honest Grading report visit http://www.diamonds.net/HonestDiamonds/Resources/Special_Report_Honest_Grading_1.pdf