Florida TV Station Airs Segment on Diamond-Grading Problems

The issue of varying diamond-lab standards has once again captured attention from a local TV station, as a Florida newscast profiled jeweler Brad Congress’ Diamonditis campaign. 

WFTV-TV, the local Fox station in Fort Myers and Naples, Fla., aired the broadcast on July 8, after hearing ads about diamonditis from Brad Congress, owner of Bradley’s Jewelers, on the local radio.

“The market is flooded with diamonds that are not what they appear to be,” said the anchor in the intro to the segment. 

During the segment, Warren Wright, reporter for Fox 4‘s In Your Corner, said: “Many of the [labs] are so relaxed in their rating, Congress claimed that too many people are getting gouged for buying grossly overrated diamonds.… Congress believes that there are more diamonds on the market with suspect documents than those with accurate records.”

On air, Congress called the GIA and AGS labs more “consistent and reliable” than some international labs and recommended consumers have jewelers show them diamonds under a gem scope and look for diamond fluorescence.

The program also quoted a JCK blog post on lab-grown diamonds, estimating that there is a 20 percent price differential between natural and man-made diamonds, so “cheating is profitable.”

“If you buy a diamond without the proper document and accurate rating, you are most likely paying too much for insurance,” Wright concluded. 

Congress tells JCK that the broadcast will likely be picked up in other markets. 

“I’m calling attention to a glaring problem,” he says. “If you are selling diamonds with documents that don’t match up, and you hold those products up with Rapaport values, you are comparing oranges to apples.”

He says that he hopes to speak with state law enforcement about the issue.

He adds, “Clients have been overwhelmingly supportive. They understand the deceptive practices that are going on in our industry.”

Similar reports have aired on stations in Nashville, Tenn., and Denver, and San Diego.

JCK News Director