Labs Grade Diamonds, But Who Grades the Labs?

JCK sent a single diamond to a quartet of industry labs to gauge their consistency (or lack thereof). The results were surprising—provoking a look into how the trade views the inherently subjective process of certification.In 1955, the Gemological Institute of America’s lab issued the first diamond grading report, meant to serve as a third-party verifier that would increase public confidence in the diamond industry. Yet in the years since, not everyone has maintained confidence in the system of grading labs and reports.While there are still many respected diamond-grading labs, others have earned reputations for being overly generous in their evaluations. (And even within that subgroup, there are those with ­reputations for being somewhat generous, and others—one overseas lab, in particular—with a ­reputation for being really generous.) Within the gem trade, talk abounds of vary

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