By Michelle Graff
Michelle-blogThat song? You Give Love a Bad Name, which was the band’s first No. 1 hit and remained on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six months.

Why am I bringing this up today, other than to give members of my generation a fine dose of 80s nostalgia? I do it because the idea of the song—a man who feels that his lover’s treatment of him has poisoned the well for all relationships—relates to the news that emerged from the GIA lab in Ramat, Gan Israel this week.

Four companies submitted hundreds of stones that the GIA said it “reasonably believes” have been subjected to a temporary treatment that improves their color by as much as three grades. And we aren’t talking melee here either. A scan of the stones’ report information posted online by the GIA shows that the vast majority of the diamonds were 1-carat or bigger, with quite a few stones that were 3, 4 and even 5 carats in the mix.

In other words: The people who submitted these stones with this still-unidentified temporary treatment stood to make some big money if it worked.

But it didn’t. And now the industry is faced with a situation not unlike the one that arose in the spring of 2012 when hundreds of undisclosed synthetic diamonds surfaced at the IGI laboratory in Antwerp.

There was a big uproar when the story first broke. Many in the industry swore up and down that they were going to bring the evil-doers to justice.

The case, as I reported in this blog and a subsequent follow-up post, even went so far as to land in the hands of Agim De Bruycker, head of the “Diamond Squad,” a federal agency in Belgium built specifically to police the diamond industry.

For whatever reasons, however, no charges were ever brought in the case, and it just kind of faded away.

Agim, as you might have read, is facing his own legal challenges these days—he was arrested on money laundering charges in March.

And, what about the company that was linked to the undisclosed synthetics and being investigated, Gemesis/Su-Raj Diamonds? It would seem that the company is doing somewhat better than Agim as it got itself a new CEO and a new name—Gemesis rebranded as Pure Grown Diamonds—and enjoys regularly distributing press releases about their latest, record-breaking lab-grown diamond.

So, what will happen this time around?

It’s very early to say, as the GIA is still in the process of recalling and reexamining the stones it believes were treated.

The four companies fingered as submitting the diamonds are, as the saying goes, innocent until proven guilty, though early evidence suggests they knew exactly what they were doing. The GIA has already cut them off because it “reasonably suspects” the companies knew they were submitting treated diamonds and just didn’t disclose it.

If they are proven to have done wrong, the action taken against these companies and against whatever other companies and/or individuals were involved (most everybody seems to think these small and relatively unknown players were a front for a larger organization) needs to send a message.

It’s only fair to all the honest, hard-working diamond dealers out there, who get a bad name from the dishonest actions of a few.


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