At the Plumb Club Forum yesterday, International Diamond Manufacturing Association president Jeff Fischer criticized Martin Rapaport about the changes in the 40 point price list (the 30 to 37 point, 38 to 45 point, and 46 to 49 point categories have been changed to 30 to 39 points, and 40 to 49 points). These changes were made at the same time as the decision to add ten carat stones to the list, and Fischer said they were done for “graphic layout” reasons. When I spoke to Martin afterwards, he basically had no comment (an uncommon occurrence.) But today he had a more detailed (and thought-provoking) response:
First of all, we are very responsive to any suggestions to how we can do a better job for the diamond industry. Everyone is encouraged to voice their suggestions as to how we can do a better job. My personal email is email@example.com.
Jeff says we made these changes based on graphic design issue. That is false. We would never do something like that. We are responding to a consumer issue.
I believe based on our research that it is inappropriate to sell 38 and 39 pointers as 40 pointers. Since most people use the Rapaport price list with certified stones, we believe this is an honest reflection of what is going on in the real world. We are moving to a more transparent world. We think it’s problematic to misrepresent sizes to consumers. The idea you can “sneak in” lower sizes is not really acceptable anymore.
I do think the diamond industry’s leadership has been lacking. I would refer to the response to the De Beers class action lawsuit that has clearly defective injunction relief.