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Articles from DIAMOND GRADING / CERTIFICATION (73 Articles)

RapNet has banned EGL reports due to concerns with their grading standards
RapNet has banned EGL reports due to concerns with their grading standards

Diamond grading reports banned

Online diamond trading platform RapNet has announced it will no longer be listing grading reports from any European Gemological Laboratories (EGL) branches, effective 1 October 2014.

In a company statement, RapNet expressed concerns about the misrepresentation by laboratories that were using Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grading terminology while applying alternative grading standards – like those from EGL – to “overstate” the quality of a diamond.

“While some EGL grading reports are more consistent with GIA grading standards than others, there is, in our opinion, confusion and inconsistency among the various EGL grading reports,” the statement read. “RapNet has therefore decided not to list any EGL grading reports on RapNet.”

Martin Rapaport, Rapaport Group chairman
Martin Rapaport, Rapaport Group chairman

The announcement was made amid reports that US-based retailer Genesis Diamonds had had three lawsuits filed against it for misleading customers about the quality of diamonds certified by EGL International.

Genesis Diamonds lawyer Eli Richardson admitted to Nashville news service WSMV that EGL International “is known to be more lenient than GIA”, but added, “That does not make EGL International certifications fraudulent, just more lenient.”

In its statement, RapNet acknowledged the subjective nature of diamond laboratory grading and said it recognised a difference in one colour and one clarity grade would be within a “reasonable tolerance range”.

However, it was stated, “We reject the idea that there is no diamond grading standard and caution RapNet members not to use GIA grading terminology to describe diamonds that are below a reasonable tolerance range of the GIA standard.”

Commenting on the matter, Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, which owns RapNet, described the over-grading of diamonds as an “unfair practice that destroys consumer confidence and the legitimacy of the diamond industry”.

“Retailers who sell over-graded diamonds using GIA terminology and non-GIA grading standards are at great risk,” he said. “When consumers try to resell their diamonds or send them to the GIA for re-grading and discover significant quality differences there will be hell to pay. The diamond trade must prioritise the protection of consumers above profits.”

EGL South Africa ‘disappointed’
EGL South Africa (EGL SA) managing director Alan Lowe was quick to defend his company, which reportedly operates two laboratories in Johannesburg and Cape Town independently of other global EGL laboratories.

Lowe said he agreed with Rapaport in that action needed to be taken against laboratories that overstated diamond quality, but was “very disappointed” that EGL SA – which he believed certifies diamonds to the “highest international standards” – had been grouped with other EGL branches that may not uphold the same ethics or grading policy.

“EGL SA has been in business for 34 years and during this time has never been accused or found guilty of any wrong doing in grading of diamonds,” he said.

“I was the founding managing director of EGL SA and I have always made it my mission to ensure that we produce certificates to the highest international standards based on sound gemmological criteria.”

At the time of publication, no other EGL branches had commented on RapNet’s ban.

EGL was founded in Belgium in 1974 and operates a number of laboratories located in countries including the US, India, Israel, China, France and the UK.

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