RapNet, world’s leading diamond trading network, announced that it would not list diamond grading reports from all European Gemological Laboratories (EGL). The announcement came after RapNet found inconsistencies in the grading reports of EGL, where the lab used grading terminologies of GIA but applied inferior grading standards thereby overstating the quality of diamonds.
Diamond grading labs across the world differ on the terminology and grading pattern, where labs in US are generally found to be stricter than labs outside US. Diamond retailers are aware of this fact and price diamonds keeping in mind the grading pattern of certifying lab.
Diamond grading itself is a human process and analysis of one person may differ significantly from another. Last week in two separate posts – “Need to overhaul gemological labs” and “Labs may differ on your diamond’s quality“, this issue was highlighted and questions about its impact on end consumers were raised.
Some diamond grading labs have been found to spread incorrect and biased information causing confusion in minds of consumers, differ appraisals of similar stones causing them to be priced differently and even issue certificates without proper grading. On the other hand, reputed labs are under immense pressure from rising diamond trade volumes. While RapNet’s action is a step towards curbing miscreants in the industry, it does not solve the main problem – diamond grading labs are unregulated and lack accountability. A common standard, stricter regulations and increased use of technology to reduce human error are squarely needed to maintain reputation of diamond industry.