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April 2008

At the Diamond Manufacturers Association of America meeting we attended on March 17, President Ronald Friedman said his organization was writing to Federal Prosecutors to uncover the bribery a few years ago at the GIA The letter stated that the DMIA leaders “strongly encourage” prosecution of any and all wrongdoing in the case.

At the meeting, we brought up a point: There was all this talk about the GIA and the problems there. What about the other labs that routinely overgrade?

Ronald Friedman said that it boils down to the difference in perception. When you get a Rolls-Royce, it’s different from a Ford. GIA is considered the “Rolls Royce” of reports.

That is a good answer. Still, if someone is buying a Ford, they might know it is a Ford but they still want it to run. We see reports that list stones as “SI2,” and “I1,” when it is absolutely not true. None of this excuses the possible bribery at GIA. We don’t believe in the “everyone does it” excuse. Still consumers should know what they are getting when they get a grading report. In a way, giving a “friendly” report to volume users is also bribery.

Perhaps the solution is to move the clock back a little, and to rely on something that never fails: Looking at the stone with your own eyes.

At the DMIA meeting, Dion Kenyon, President of the Jewelers Board of Trade, talked about a “memo report.”

This is to prevent incidents, like we’ve seen recently, where companies gather many memos and then escaped with the goods. The system would allow people to see how much a company has on memorandum.

JBT may have some small competition from jewelersalert.com, a new bulletin board for credit issues.

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