Diamond trade to face arbitration on colour grading standards

Three colorful gems

Members of the diamond trade may now face arbitration for dealing in diamonds with a colour grade that differs from industry standards. The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) and the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) are the main organizations behind this new policy.

Currently, it states that issues regarding diamond color grades should be brought before the authorized body of a bourse. The bourse is to then determine the broadly accepted industry benchmark—from either the Gemological Institute of America or the International Diamond Council—to be used in each case.

Next, the diamond is to be submitted by said bourse to a respected laboratory to be graded based upon on the chosen industry standards. If the examination concludes that the diamond’s color grading exceeds the accepted standard by more than one grade, the bourse will be expected to take necessary measures against the relevant parties.

“Due to the subjective nature of gem grading, it is widely accepted that a difference of up to one grade in color and clarity should be tolerated,” says Ernest Blom, president of the WFDB. “This has already been established as the industry norm and we are reiterating the importance that our members should adhere to that norm to ensure continued consumer confidence in diamonds.” CJ