Disclose All Treatments!(Whatever That Means)

Nothing stirs industry ethicists more than a discussion of treatment disclosure, and the recent brouhaha over Lazare Kaplan International’s plans to market “whitened” diamonds through its new Pegasus Overseas Ltd. subsidiary is no exception. Most feel that if the mystery “process” is a heat treatment, it should be disclosed under the law. End of story. But dig a little deeper, and the issue becomes more complicated. LKI officials say their attorneys studied existing laws and decided the process didn’t have to be disclosed. They argued that because they were into uncharted territory, the standard rules didn’t apply. “This is something the trade has never dealt with before,” one top LKI official noted at the height of the controversy. “How do you handle a process that’s permanent, adds nothing to the stone, and is undetectable?” In fact, LKI still refuses to call

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