WGI Survey: Consumers and Grading Reports

Consumers are willing to accept grading reports from unfamiliar labs, according to a World Gemological Institute study.

The research was done through the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council, a division of MVI Marketing Ltd. through the perceived necessity of grading reports to accompany diamond purchases, and willingness on the part of consumers to accept grading reports from laboratories that were unfamiliar to them.

“The findings are very important for us in formulating our U.S. marketing strategy. The American consumer has a very high awareness of diamond grading, and knows exactly what he or she wants when buying a diamond,” said Eli Avidar, managing director of the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies, which WGI is part of.

“Although consumer awareness of the importance of grading reports was very strong (over 50 percent stated that it is somewhat to extremely important) and there seemed to be a somewhat strong awareness of the larger established labs such as AGS, GIA, and IGI, the consumer respondents also seemed to display a confusion about the various labs and a difficulty in telling them apart,” said Liz Chatelain, president of MVI and JCOC. “Only 13% of respondents stated that they would not accept a diamond if it came from a lab they did not recognize. The other 87 percent of respondents stated that they would accept a report as legitimate even if they were not familiar with the lab, or were unsure whether they would accept it. We believe that those that stated they were unsure could be convinced of the legitimacy of a report with simple informational materials and quick over-the-counter education about the lab in question. These findings seem to open a window of opportunity for a lab such as ours which has a long history of quality diamond grading yet is only just becoming known outside of Israel.”