August 3, 1999
LKI Committed to Integrity, Says Tempelsman
Don't hold your breath waiting for the development of a test to identify diamonds that have been subjected to the GE POL process. Leon Tempelsman, president of Lazare Kaplan International, New York City, likens the possibility to "walking out the window of a 20-story building and falling up."
In an interview with Professional Jeweler's Robert Weldon, Tempelsman stresses the recent World Federation of Diamond Bourses' resolution, which mandates diamonds treated or processed to enhance color must be disclosed in writing, is no problem for LKI. "We know our business commitment to integrity requires us to be up-front and place a mark on the girdle that is readily identifiable," he says. "We have always been for disclosure, so I have no problem with the disclosure resolutions."
Tempelsman also pledges that LKI will continue to price GE POL diamonds on a par with non-processed diamonds of corresponding color, maybe even higher. "Here is a high-tech product for people who are 'techies,'" he says. "There's an argument we could even sell these diamonds for premiums; that, of course, would be in everyone's interest."
Though the GE POL process has drawn a great deal of attention, in dollar terms, it might just be a tempest in a teapot. "The percentage [compared to the rest of LKI's business] is pretty insignificant," Tempelsman says.
For the full text of Professional Jeweler's interview with Leon Tempelsman, click here.