Wall Street Journal follows up on GIA scandal

The Wall Street Journal wrote its second story in two days on the GIA money-for-grades scandal—in a story some worried would stroke consumer fears.

“The [scandal] has diamond buyers around the world wondering if they overpaid for their purchase,” the article said.

One customer said the story “could send shock waves, not just through the jewelry and insurance industries. Can you imagine, going back to your bride-to-be and saying, ‘I don’t want to alarm you, but the ring may not be what the certificate says it is. That could make for some interesting holiday conversation.” Another newlywed said she was “wondering whether we should have it reevaluated wand whether our insurance will question our ring appraisal.”

The story notes that GIA is ready to re-grade any “suspect” stones, and offers steps customers can take if they are worried about their diamonds, including submitting them to a reputable appraiser.

In addition to the WSJ pieces, the story has now appeared in the New York Post and The New York Times . It was picked up by the CNN.com Web site and briefly appeared on the news station’s “crawl.”

In an interview with JCK, newly appointed GIA chairman Ralph Destino reiterated that the number of companies and reports implicated in the scandal was small.

“GIA grades over one million stones a year,” he said. “We did a thorough investigation, and the number of questionable documents out there is infinitesimal. The trade has inflated this matter and blown it up way beyond recognition. Today, I can safely say there is no reason to question the integrity of any GIA report that is out there.”