An Open Letter By Debbie Azar: Universal Standards For Diamond Grading
Dear Industry Friends, Colleagues and Members,
When we started Gemological Science International (GSI) nearly twenty years ago, our goal was to create the most modern and technologically advanced gemological organization in the world, all while maintaining the highest level of standards and integrity. We were not afraid to utilize the latest breakthroughs and as the only major laboratory established in the 21st century we embraced technology. It also brings a higher level of integrity and transparency to diamond grading.
Gemological laboratories are essential to the integrity of the diamond, colored stones, and jewelry industry. Consumer confidence as well as trust throughout the industry is built on a universal expectation of integrity and ethical behavior within gemological laboratories. Without a set of grading standards and procedures among laboratories to demonstrate integrity, that trust is jeopardized.
Without diamond grading standardization for all laboratories, the industry is subject to an underlying issue of laboratories selling reports that are purposely inaccurate for financial benefits. Unfortunately, over the past few years, gemological laboratories have been accused of mis-grading and overvaluing diamonds.
Diamond manufacturers and jewelry retailers must have confidence that when a diamond receives a grade, it is accurate. The industry has made several attempts at bringing attention to the allegations of systematic over-grading by certain gemological laboratories, but so far, that has not been achieved.
That’s why GSI is stepping up and calling for universal standards for the grading of diamonds—both natural and laboratory grown. We must establish an accurate, unbiased assessment of a diamond’s qualities that is implemented globally. It’s really the only way to maintain integrity and transparency in the industry. And it’s the only way to protect the diamond manufacturers and jewelry retailers that have put their trust in us.
Gemological Science International
President and Co-Founder
The open letter is published on JCK – April 2022.
Gemological Science International (GSI) is the only major gemological organization established in the 21st century. Founded in 2005 in New York City, it has grown to become one of the largest gemological entities in the world with laboratory facilities spanning four continents. Utilizing cutting-edge processes and proprietary technologies, along with a commitment to the highest ethical standards and practices, GSI provides manufacturers and retailers globally with a wide range of gemstone identification and grading services. The company is committed to advancing gemological research and offers gemological educational programs for trade professionals and the general public through its state-of-the-art research center.