GE POL: Industry Speaks Out
Concerns about disclosure bring calls for quick but thoughtful
Industry leaders debated treatment disclosure in the War Room,
a feature of the International Gemological Symposium in June.
Principally, they discussed the General Electric process used
on diamonds marketed by Pegasus Overseas Ltd., a subsidiary of
Lazare Kaplan International. The process is known in the trade
as GE POL.
In a panel discussion, GIA President William Boyajian called
this the biggest crisis in the diamond industry in 23 years.
And Martin Rapaport, a diamond dealer in New York City and publisher
of the Rapaport Report diamond price list, posed the question
how the industry will deal honestly with the issue of diamond
color. He said the prevalence of treatments in colored gems may
soon be true for diamonds.
The absence of conclusive identifiable features other than
a laser inscription on GE POL diamonds is at the crux of the
issue. That's a concern because the inscription can be polished
off, as it was partially on a few diamonds GIA received at its
lab. If laser inscription remains the only known way to detect
the GE POL process and it is removable, "As an appraiser,
I will at some point feel compelled to say to my customers this
technology exists but we are unable to detect it," said
Ralph Joseph, an appraiser with The Jewelry Judge, Princeton,
This lack of specifics about GE POL could cause consumer pressure
for details, added Cecilia Gardner, executive director of the
Jewelers Vigilance Committee, New York City. "The research
GIA has undertaken is very important, but we need to know from
GE what they are doing," she said.
Jeff Fischer of Fischer Diamonds, a dealer in New York City,
suggested a committee be formed to deal immediately with proper
disclosure issues and to craft an appropriate response for retailers
when consumers and the consumer press start to demand answers.
Many people urged calm. "Let's not overreact," said
Boyajian. "Let's respond in a thoughtful manner."
by Robert Weldon, G.G.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.