New York--RapNet, the diamond trading network operated by the Rapaport Group, said Tuesday that beginning Oct. 1, it no longer will list any diamonds with reports from European Gemological Laboratories. 

The decision to reject EGL-graded stones comes in the midst of continuing controversy in the trade about the disparities between some EGL reports and those from other laboratories, including the Gemological Institute of America, which established the diamond grading system used by the trade today. 

Many in the trade complain that some EGL labs overstate the quality of a diamond’s color and clarity, sometimes by multiple grades. 

RapNet said in a statement that this “misrepresentation of diamond quality” led to its decision to stop listing all EGL-graded stones, including those from New York-based EGL USA as well as stones from EGL International, which is headquartered in Tel Aviv and operates labs around the world. 

“While some EGL grading reports are more consistent with GIA grading standards than others, there is, in our opinion, confusion and inconsistency among the various EGL grading reports; RapNet has therefore decided not to list any EGL grading reports on RapNet,” the Rapaport Group said in a statement. 

Mitchell Jakubovic, the head of EGL USA, did not respond to a voice message left Tuesday afternoon seeking comment on the Rapaport Group’s decision. Guy D. Benhamou, CEO and managing partner of EGL International, also did not respond to request for comment. 

In the Rapaport Group statement, Chairman Martin Rapaport also personally cautioned retailers against using GIA grading terminology to describe diamonds that are “below a reasonable tolerance range of the GIA standard.” 

In Nashville, Tenn., retailer Genesis Diamonds is currently facing at least three lawsuits brought by consumers claiming they were misled about the quality of the EGL International-graded diamonds they bought at the store. 

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“The over-grading of diamonds is an unfair practice that destroys consumer confidence and the legitimacy of the diamond industry,” Martin Rapaport said. “Retailers who sell over-graded diamonds using GIA terminology and non-GIA grading standards are at great risk. When consumers try to resell their diamonds or send them to the GIA for re-grading and discover significant quality differences there will be hell to pay. The diamond trade must prioritize the protection of consumers above profits.”  


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