De Beers Gem Lab: A Fox in the Hen House?

De Beers Gem Lab: A Fox in the Hen House?



De Beers IIDGR gem labEverybody knows that you don’t put a fox in charge of guarding the hen house. But that’s how I view the recent launch of the International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research (IIGDR). The driving force behind this independent gemological laboratory is none other than De Beers, the company which is most well known for being a primary supplier of diamond rough to the industry, but who is also the parent company behind the De Beers Forevermark Diamond brand.

Call me paranoid, but I have to question the morality behind opening up your own gemological laboratory for the purpose of grading diamonds produced and sold by your company. How can that possibly be considered as impartial?

And now the International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research is opening its doors to the rest of the diamond industry. It will be interesting to see how many IIGDR diamond grading reports are ordered by companies who don’t promote the De Beers Forevermark brand.

In addition to my concerns about how impartial we can expect this diamond grading laboratory to be, I’m also concerned about the heavy reliance on automated grading. This is using machines to grade diamonds. Sure, every diamond grading laboratory uses modern diamond grading technology to some extent, but it seems to me that automation is the driving force behind this laboratory.

I’m also concerned about the fact that this laboratory operates in multiple locations, we’ve all shopped at franchise stores located in different venues and know that operating procedures vary from location to location. This mode of operation has caused countless problems with GIA graded diamonds, and the GIA has been around since 1954, so they’ve had much longer to fine tune their operating procedures. I personally prefer the grading practices of the AGS Laboratory, which operates out of one central location. Obviously so does Paul Slegers of Crafted by Infinity since he uses the AGS Laboratory exclusively for the grading of Crafted by Infinity diamonds.

I feel that it is important for consumers to realize that the real name behind this rather awkwardly named gemological laboratory, the International Institute of Diamond Grading & Research is De Beers. A company which is primarily in the business of selling rough diamonds. I don’t recall ever reading anything from De Beers that promotes diamond cut quality, they always talk in terms of carats… How many carats of diamonds they’ve mined, sold, or expect to sell.

One thing I know for certain, Paul Slegers of Crafted by Infinity would never dream of opening up a gemological laboratory and using it to grade diamonds which he produces. That’s just not right. Regardless of whether the laboratory is open to the rest of the diamond industry or not, the entire concept wreaks of collusion. Even if everything is above board and totally legitimate, it just seems deceptive.

Read the Full Story in JCK Magazine.

Photo credit: same.

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