WSJ.com – Diamond Industry Rocked By Allegations of Bribery

To know me is to know my fascination with rare and semi-precious gems.  All Sarah’s jewelry was handpicked by me, and in most cases, designed by me after I personally acquired the loose stones involved.  Thankfully, Sarah doesn’t have a diamond jones, so this hobby isn’t requiring me to break into my IRA to fund it.  Her ethical problems with conflict diamonds have led her to focus on other stones.

The gruesome conditions under which some diamonds are mined is only one reason that I find diamonds entirely….uninteresting.  There’s no color to them, and you see much more of Nature’s beauty and mastery in a ruby or a gardened emerald than you do in a diamond.  I generally find people who elevate diamonds to angelic levels to be a bit absurd, and now it appears they are getting bit in the ass.

Take this story from the Wall Street Journal about how that diamond grading certificate you got with your diamond may have been inflated to get you to pay more:

The Gemological Institute of America, which grades diamonds for
independent dealers and big retailers such as Tiffany & Co. and
Bailey Banks & Biddle, recently fired four employees and shuffled
top management after a four-month internal probe of its policies.
..
The suit that sparked the institute’s internal probe claimed the fraud
was uncovered after two diamonds that were sold for a total of $15
million to members of the Saudi royal family were taken to an
independent appraiser — and found to have a lower grade that made them
worth far less. [than the grade given to them by the GIA]
..
Mr. Pincione [a diamond dealer to the Saudis] claims an informant later gave him a ledger that supported
allegations that a supervisor at the institute was being paid more than
$3,000 a month to change grades on diamonds.

Take my advice, buy your girl a ruby, an emerald, something with a little color and then spend an hour with a jeweler picking out a setting from the catalog to have it mounted.  She’ll be flattered by the fact that you spent that kind of time on creating her gift and she’ll get a much more interesting piece.

See the Times Online story
also WSJ.com – Diamond Industry Rocked By Allegations of Bribery. (subscription required)

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