Diamond network de-lists controversial certification lab - KCTV5

Diamond network de-lists controversial certification lab

Posted: Updated: Aug 29, 2014 01:34 PM

RapNet, the world's leading authority on diamond pricing, is refusing to include diamonds graded by a controversial laboratory in its inventory.

Some diamonds certified by EGL International turned out to be exaggerated in color and clarity when evaluated by other respected labs.

While jewelers have been talking about something like this happening, the Channel 4 I-Team was reportedly instrumental in tipping the scales.

"I've never seen this before, and I'm in the business 32 years before there was RapNet," New York diamond expert Josh Fishman said.

Fishman said this decision has the whole diamond industry talking.

RapNet, considered the biggest clearing house in the world for loose stones, is the accepted industry standard for what a diamond is worth.

"You have a million or more diamonds listed on RapNet, it's a major marketplace," Fishman said. "The dealer network for the listing of diamonds has refused to accept for listing any of these EGL Hong Kong or Israel certificates."

The prohibition comes just a few months after the Channel 4 I-Team's investigation of diamonds some local customers said were exaggerated in quality and value.

The diamonds were certified by EGL International, based in Israel, and sold locally by Genesis Diamonds. The I-Team's investigation revealed a number of cases where experts determined the qualities listed on paper didn't match the stone in question.

"We sent this diamond to GIA for certification," jeweler Bob Forster said. "It came back a K color, as opposed to a G. So you got ... four color grades lower. And it came back as a VS2 instead of a VS1. So you've got four color grades and one clarity grade."

Genesis contends it has done nothing wrong, and that diamond color and clarity is judged by the human eye and therefore subjective.

"When you take a diamond from a certain lab and you send this same diamond to a different lab, you get different results," said Boaz Ramon, Genesis Diamonds owner.

Still, many jewelers said this news is seismic. It could mean catastrophic losses for retailers who enjoy big markups on EGL International diamonds. It could also signal big changes or potentially the end of EGL's grading operations in Israel.

The Channel 4 I-Team reached out to Martin Rapoport, who runs RapNet, to discuss what prompted his decision to de-list the diamonds from his site. He has been in touch with local attorneys involved in the Genesis Diamonds cases, but has not yet responded to the I-Team.

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