In a move I’ve never seen before, the Gemological Institute of America issued a “laboratory alert,” where it actually named those involved with misrepresenting their gems. In this case approximately 500 diamonds colorless to near colorless diamonds submitted primarily to the GIA lab in Israel “were subjected to an undisclosed temporary treatment.”
GIA said it believes the treatment temporarily masks the inherent color of the diamond. The color difference can be as much as three grades. GIA hasn’t been able to identify the treatment process,
GIA not only identified approximately 425 diamonds but it named the companies and individuals who submitted the stones. In addition, the organization made it public that they banned these companies and individuals from submitting gems to their labs.
The Rapaport Group immediately followed suit with a statement saying that it and RapNet has “suspended service” to the companies and individuals, “pending further investigation”. RapNet has also delisted all diamonds with recalled grading reports and is contacting those listing such stones for sale.
The companies identified by GIA are LYE Diamonds, E.G.S.D. Diamonds, Abramov Romok and Yair Matatov; Individuals associated with these companies are Nati Yizrov, Gavriel Yelizarov and Yair Matatov.
The diamond industry is a very politically astute and organizations that represent the industry immediately sent out the obligatory press releases condemning the alleged deception.
The Israel Diamond Exchange called an “extraordinary meeting” of its board of directors where it issued a statement expressing its “indignation and resentment” and vowing to “identify the suspects” and “to take the needed measures,” which were not described.
On the other hand, Ernie Blom, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, gave a forceful statement.
“I am extremely concerned by this development,” Blom said. “This is clearly unlawful behavior. We will have no tolerance whatsoever for this type of alleged illegal activity.
“It is crucial that this kind of unlawful action is stamped out. We are pleased that the GIA publicized this development so that diamantaires can be on their guard … Our industry must come together to counter such activity, both for the good of our members and for the end-consumer who is always uppermost in our minds”
The GIA taking the extra step to publicly identify the culprits (even to consumers who use the GIA website) is much-needed change in the industry handles these type of events, which is usually hiding behind a wall of silence.
It’s the type of change the industry needs if wants to continue to win consumers’ trust.
For the diamond industry’s sake, hopefully, this will be part of a regular practice and not just a one-time development.