November 15, 2005
Moses Says Very Few GIA Reports Are Suspect
Thomas M. Moses, the newly appointed senior vice president of the
Gemological Institute of America's laboratory and research divisions, said
that only a small fraction of the diamonds graded by GIA could have been
affected by recent violations of its ethics code. "We can appreciate that
many in our industry want to know if the violations of our code of ethics by
former employees or dealers is systemic. Fortunately, the answer is no," he
"Many in our industry are also speculating that there are thousands of
stones with grades that are suspect. The credible evidence presented by the
independent investigative team indicates that an extremely small fraction of
the diamonds graded by GIA over the ten-year period covered by the
investigation could have been affected," said Moses.
The GIA official spoke during his recent attendance at the Presidents'
Meeting of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses in Mumbai. His remarks,
at a joint session of WFDB and the International Diamond Manufacturers
Association, were recorded at www.diamonds.net, the online news service of
Moses also told the group: "if you feel that any diamond graded by GIA for
any reason requires a second exam, we will do so free of charge for the next
six months." The WFDB presidents requested that the six-month period be
extended, and Moses told them this request would be considered. Moses said
he'd tell clients in his end-of-the-year letter that "we will not tolerate
any dealer attempting to give money or favors to any grader for any reason
or otherwise seek to influence the grading process. Period."
Along with the previously reported appointment of a chief compliance officer who will report to GIA's general counsel, Moses said other initial GIA steps included annual mandatory ethics and professional conduct training for all employees and the retention of an outside, independent company to provide a hotline that will allow confidential communications between clients and employees with GIA's board and senior management.
"I know that after an issue like this is brought to light, the only real
remedy is in the actions we take and in the reputation we earn going
forward. And that is how I ask you to judge us," Moses told the group. "I
also want to take this time to say that we are thankful for the many
expressions of support we are receiving from around the world. Many clients
have contacted us to express their appreciation for what we are doing, and
to reiterate their long-held belief in the standards and ethics of the
Gemological Institute of America."
- by Peggy Jo Donahue