As many as 500 diamonds may have been subjected to a new mystery color treatment that temporarily improves their color as much as three grades, the Gemological Institute of America reported yesterday.
GIA believes that the treatment temporarily masks diamond’s body color, resulting in a color grade that can be up to three grades higher than it would be normally.
According to spokesperson Stephen Morisseau, GIA first became aware of the tricky treatment after grading some 500 stones submitted by Israeli manufacturers over a series of months. The GIA became concerned when a client sent one stone back, and it had reverted to its true color.
“We reasonably believe these stones were treated in some way,” Morisseau says. “We don’t know what the treatment is. We are actively researching it.”
GIA has posted the numbers of 424 reports that accompanied the possibly treated diamonds. (About 70 or so have come back to GIA over the course of normal business.)
“We ask anyone who has purchased or holds these diamonds to please resubmit them to any GIA location for review,” the lab said in a lab alert. “GIA will expedite the service, and no fee will be assessed.”
The GIA has banned the four companies that submitted the diamonds and in an unusual move has published their names along with the reports: L.Y.E Diamonds, E.G.S.D. Diamonds, Romok Abramov, and Yair Matatov.
JCK reached out to the listed contacts for those companies for comment. The only one to respond was Romok Abramov, who says that since GIA limits the amounts of stones individuals can submit, he submitted the gems on behalf of another one of the listed dealers.
“All the stones mentioned in the GIA report are not mine,” Abramov says. “Never saw any of those stones and don’t have any idea if they were treated.”
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) sent out a statement expressing concern about the incident.
“This is clearly unlawful behavior,” said WFDB president Ernie Blom. “We will have no tolerance whatsoever for this type of alleged illegal activity. We are pleased that the GIA publicized this development so that diamantaires can be on their guard.”