Martin Rapaport Raises Concern About Over-grading Diamonds
Martin Rapaport, an industry analyst and chairman of the Rapaport Group, released a comprehensive editorial titled “Honest Grading” that discloses the over-grading of over 100,000 diamonds, valued at more than $1 billion dollars. The report actively speaks out against the misrepresentation of diamond quality in reports.
Setting an example, Rapnet delisted EGL International (EGLI) reports from its website with effect from October 1, 2014. The diamond trading website states that EGL reports commonly use Gemological Institute of America (GIA) terminology to describe diamonds as four or more colour/clarity combination grades higher than what the GIA would give the same stones.
“We oppose the misuse of GIA terminology by applying alternative grading standards that overstate the quality of diamonds. We support the GIA standards as defined by the GIA grading laboratory by its diamond grading reports,” a statement read. Furthermore, the article rejects the false statement by EGL International diamond grading laboratory that there is no international standard for diamond grading.
The Rapaport Group recognises that GIA and other laboratory diamond grading is based on human evaluation and is therefore subjective. A difference of one colour and one clarity grade between diamond grading reports from the same or different laboratories is within a reasonable tolerance range, it noted.
Rapaport said it is an unfair business practice to communicate the grade of a diamond using GIA terminology while applying non-GIA standards that systematically over-grade the quality of the diamond.
“Consumers must be warned not to trust misleading diamond grading reports and those that sell them. Suppliers must be held responsible for the quality of the diamonds they sell. The diamond trade must prioritise the protection of consumers above profits,” said Martin Rapaport.
Rapaport mentioned that retailers too are active buyers of over-graded diamond reports as it results in greater profits. “The damage to the diamond industry by the establishment, acceptance and support of a culture that promotes systematic misrepresentation of diamond quality and the outright cheating of consumers destroys the diamond trade from within. It is as insidious as an undetected cancer eating away at the essential moral fibre of the diamond trade,” he noted.