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CIBJO debates wading into grading ethics issue

SB_bigstock-Diamond-on-whitOverstated diamond grading reports came to the fore at CIBJO Congress, with some calling for the group to take a more active role in the debate.

Discussions at a meeting of the diamond commission centred on using CIBJO as an auditing body for labs, creating a guidance book on grading, and developing a program to educate the trade and retailers on how to assess a lab report.

And while calls were made to hold off debating the issue until next year, CIBJO Sector A President Roland Naftule said he felt uncomfortable delaying a discussion.

“The seriousness of this subject needs to be addressed as soon as possible,” Naftule said. “There has been a lot of bad publicity. There could be a number of lawsuits. Our industry could be extremely damaged if we do not review this quickly. We cannot leave here without finding a way of working together on these issues and talking to the labs to meet and discuss it further and find a solution before it becomes catastrophic. As a group, we can present recommendations on how to proceed.”

Alex Popov, chair of the World Diamond Mark, said the group’s guidance on grading reports would be available next month and suggested it could be used as a basis for CIBJO’s own book. However, some in the audience argued it was not the work of CIBJO to deal with claims of fraud and misrepresentation regarding grading reports.

Cecilia Gardner, chief executive officer (CEO) of Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), said she did not believe CIBJO should be involved in auditing work. “It is much too complicated and it is not an appropriate use of CIBJO resources,” she added. “But we can have a role in guidance.”

James Riley, CEO of Gem-A, said CIBJO plays a role in educating the trade about what is right scientifically, so incorrect information is not passed on to consumers.

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