De Beers announced that its International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research (IIDGR) would launch a grading service for the general trade in several new markets.
Until now, the IIDGR grading service was primarily limited to assessing diamonds from De Beers’ diamond brand, Forevermark. However, the company decided to expand in response to increasing interest in the IIDGR’s grading capabilities.
The grading offering was initially tested in the Far East but will now also be available in the Middle East, Asia and Europe via the institute’s laboratories in Belgium, India and the UK.
De Beers emphasised the service would focus on providing accuracy and consistency through the use of the company’s proprietary grading technology.
“Our service aims to provide diamantaires with total peace of mind when it comes to grading,” IIDGR president Jonathan Kendall said. “The innovative technology solutions developed in-house at De Beers enable us to provide an extremely accurate and consistent service and our leading capabilities in diamond verification provides customers with an additional layer of confidence.”
Stones of all sizes, colours, shapes and qualities will be accepted for grading provided they are natural and untreated.
When asked if there were plans to expand into other markets, a De Beers spokesperson stated, “We are gradually increasing the reach of the service into new markets so we can assess if the demand for the service is in line with what we have seen from the pilot [test]. We will see how it progresses before taking decisions about potential launches in other markets.
“… in the long term we expect our grading service to be a global operation so we welcome enquiries from all over the world [so] that we can discuss options.”
Investment diamond grading
In related news, Martin Rapaport announced that his company, Rapaport Group, would offer a diamond grading report designed to identify investment-quality stones.
Rapaport said the Rapaport Investment Diamond Report (IDR) would only be issued for the “best quality round 0.50-carat and larger, D–H, IF–VS2, Rap Spec A1 diamonds”. Stones that lacked “overall brilliance, have features that limit trade liquidity or have borderline grades” would unlikely be graded.
“The IDR will be an exclusively branded product due to the limited quantity of diamonds that meet strict Rapaport A1 investment diamond standards and the careful attention required by our graders who will examine every diamond,” Rapaport explained.
He said the IDR would “conservatively” grade diamonds based on the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA’s) standards, and that the service included an independent GIA grading report, meaning each stone would be
“The Rapaport IDR [will provide] the trade, investors and consumers with the highest level of confidence in quality,” Rapaport stated. “It will enhance the ability to trade diamonds electronically and enable new highly liquid and efficient investment diamond markets.”
The news comes more than a year after Rapaport published a controversial commentary calling for the industry to fight the practice of “over-grading”.
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