62 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2018 “It is our policy that the technical details and results for stones are the domain of the laboratory report, while extra information, to place exceptional stones into a certain per- spective, are better suited for supplementary documents,” he says. Bahrain lab Danat, which opened late last year, gives more details, including origin de- termination when requested, as well as color designators commonly used in the market today, like pigeon’s blood. The lab includes these market-driven additions on the second page of its reports under “Professional Judgments,” while the main results such as species, variety and gem weight are printed on the first page under “Technical/Scientific Results.” Meanwhile, Swiss lab Gübelin offers origin determination for certain gem types upon request but doesn’t apply a comprehensive color grading system or use a vast range of color descriptors on its reports. Managing Director Daniel Nyfeler adds, however, that they do use “pigeon blood red” and royal blue for rubies and blue sapphires, respectively, because those terms “have a history and a certain global acceptance in the trade.” So, that’s six different labs and six variations on what infor- mation is and isn’t included on colored gemstone reports. All use different sets of standards and guidelines to establish results and communicate them. It is not surprising, given they each have their own proprietary methods, but it can lead to confusion within the trade. “The problem is, there’s no uniformity,” says American Gem Trade Association CEO Doug Hucker. One stone may get two different color calls from two different labs, he says, and when it comes to communicating treat- ments, there are no set guidelines for indi- cating those findings on a report. Gemstone dealer Edward Boehm of RareSource says; “We’re at a critical point now because some of the parameters are too loose or too tight with some overlap, and there isn’t enough agreement as to where those parameters should be.” Streamlining communication or even methods could go a long way, some say, to helping the trade understand the standards labs are using when they evaluate colored gemstones. COMMUNICATING CONFIDENCE Justasthelabsdifferinhowtheyreachlab reportconclusions,usingavarietyofmachines andtechniques,sotoodotheydifferinhowthey communicatethosemethodstotheenduser. Most labs are careful to include vocabulary that clearly spells out that its reports represent graders’ opinions while some go even further. “By separating the ‘opinion’ elements of our reporting from the technical/scientific results and placing them in a section clearly marked as ‘Professional Judgments,’ I think we convey the attribut- able level of confidence,” Danat’s Scarratt says. “[But],” he notes, “such professional judgements are not the result of guesswork, but rather an interpretation of some data that may sometimes straddle a definitive line.” The way labs communicate the nature of their opinions in lab reports was recently addressed in an article by Jack Ogden, gem- ologist, jewelry historian and former CEO of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, in Gem-A’s The Journal of Gemmology. There is not a set standard to which all labs are held but, according to Ogden, a “dis- tinction between the objective and the sub- jective” is required for labs accredited under International Standard ISO/IEC 17025. He writes that in this spirit, and for best practices, “it would make things clearer if all gem labs clearly stated that opinions are simply opinions where they are present- ed in a report, and not relegated to some generality about it all being an opinion in the typically small print of the ‘terms and conditions,’ sometimes even on the reverse of the report.” Gemworld International Vice President Stuart Robertson says one of the issues in the market is that the labs aren’t providing a code or reference on reports explaining the degree of confidence they have in the information presented. THE STATE OF THE MAJORS THE DIAMOND INDUSTRY JEWELRY DESIGN THE COLORED STONE MARKET “We’re at a critical point now because some of the parameters are too loose or too tight and some overlap ... and there isn’t enough agreement as to where those parameters should be.” — Edward Boehm, RareSource Danat gem lab in Bahrain provides details like color designators common to the market and origin determination when requested on a lab report. Continued on page 64