World Federation Endorses ‘SI3’ Grade

Although “conflict diamonds” dominated the recent World Diamond Congress, delegates also deliberated about other issues. In one surprise move, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses-which represents the world’s 24 diamond clubs-issued a resolution calling for use of the “SI3” grade in diamond grading reports.

Most group members, however, did not have a copy of the resolution, andJCK was unable to track one down. The resolution seems not to have been released to the press or public.

Members of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association say they will introduce a similar resolution. Most dealers and manufacturers favor an SI3 grade because of the steep price difference between SI2 and I1. They feel an SI3 grade will make certain borderline stones now deemed I1 more salable.

The resolution was aimed largely at the Gemological Institute of America, which has declined to add SI3 to its grading scale. A GIA spokesman says the organization had not seen the resolution and couldn’t offer a reaction to it. But GIA president William E. Boyajian toldJCK, “We looked into SI3 many years ago and decided against it. But we are always interested in what the industry has to say and look forward to exploring this further. “Tom Tashey, who as head of European Gemological Laboratory in Los Angeles was one of the first to include SI3 on his reports, says the move “points out the need” for the grade. Ironically, a federal judge has enjoined EGL LA from using the SI3 grade. In a lawsuit between EGL LA and New York City-based EGL USA, the judge ruled the grade was misleading to consumers. Tashey heads Chicago’s Professional Gem Services.