The Girdle Hurdle
A few diamonds whitened with the GE POL process were submitted
to GIA with their identifying laser inscription totally or partially
removed. GIA responds with a warning
Anyone who thinks they can hide that a diamond has been whitened
with the new GE POL process by polishing the identifying laser
inscription off the girdle should think again. The Gemological
Institute of America's Gem Trade Laboratory says it can identify
such diamonds and will make an issue of it.
"A GE processed diamond with all or part of its
inscription removed can immediately be identified," says
GIA President William E. Boyajian. "The company submitting
the diamond will be asked to authorize, within 48 hours, the
reinscription of GE POL, and [GIA GTL] will undertake the
inscription. Should the company choose otherwise, GIA will report
this to the appropriate authorities, including the Jewelers Vigilance
Committee, and make public the potential misrepresentation."
JVC would investigate to see if fraud was committed somewhere
along the distribution channel, says Cecilia Gardner, executive
director and general counsel of JVC. "If the actions are
proven to be fraudulent, we have the tools to bring legal action."
GIA GTL also plans to issue an updated report for the
diamond with this statement: "GE POL is present on the girdle.
A GIA report was previously issued for this diamond which disclosed
that Pegasus Overseas Limited stated this diamond was processed
to improve its appearance by General Electric Co."
Consistent identification of GE POL diamonds has been an issue
ever since Lazare Kaplan International and its subsidiary, Pegasus
Overseas Ltd., announced in March they would distribute diamonds
that had undergone the proprietary whitening process developed
by GE. Identification is a top priority at GIA because the process
can't be fully recognized in all affected diamonds using gemological
techniques, GIA relies on three factors for identification:
- Inscriptions which read GE POL that Lazare Kaplan
International agreed to place on the girdle of the diamonds.
- GIA GTL certificates that describe every GE POL diamond
issued by POL.
- GIA GTL's management information system, Horizon, which
enters every diamond submitted to GIA GTL for grading. Data
about each diamond enters a traceable database.
"GIA is the independent arbiter of the public's trust
in diamonds and gemstones," says Boyajian.
"We accept this important responsibility and will do
everything in our power to ensure that GE processed diamonds
are distinguished through inscription as POL intended
and through GIA's comprehensive archival database. These diamonds
must be disclosed at every level of the pipeline. Our extensive
research program continues at full pace because the integrity
of the diamond industry is on the line."
by Robert Weldon, G.G.
||The consequences for anyone who polishes away
this laser inscription (shown left) could be dire. Courtesy of
Lazare Kaplan International and Pegasus Overseas Ltd., New York
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.