Is the industry becoming complacent?
Part 2 of 4
By Hemdeep Patel
Since joining the industry full-time 20 years ago, the question of standardization of diamond grading amongst all laboratories has been one for which I have struggled to find an easy answer. Though
I understand the grading policies of laboratories vary, hence the differences in grading results, the idea the industry can use the same grading language and scales to describe very different looking stones has never sat well with me. To someone on the outside looking in, they would have a tough time accepting our grading scales as logical. Rather, laboratories might suggest that grading terms are only loose suggestions of what the grades could be and perhaps the grades of three labs might be needed to average out the results for any particular stone.
To some, this may seem time-consuming and expensive. However, consider the cost of a report might be anywhere from less than one per cent to three per cent that of the average diamond sold as a centre for an engagement ring. In addition, since many of the leading gemmological laboratories are located in major cutting centres, the impact on time might be insignificant. Of course, that is not to say many stones are already shipped to multiple laboratories to obtain the best grade possible to maximize the bottom line.
As a consumer, I know I would have a hard time accepting a salesperson’s explanation of how the value or grade of any particular item they are offering for sale can be up for interpretation and is subjective in nature. And if the item for sale costs thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, I would tread lightly into a scenario where the selling price was based on a single grader’s subjective evaluation and would expect to be shown the merits beyond the report.
More to come of this story in Part 3.
Read the full article: Without question