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DTC Tells Sightholders to Come Clean on GIA Case

Feb 21, 2006 12:38 PM   By Jeanette Goldman
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(Rapaport...February 21, 2006) Diamond Trading Company (DTC) managing director Varda Shine told the firm's 93 sightholders to immediately inform the DTC if they are implicated in the ongoing investigation at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA.)

In a letter issued after the GIA notified additional diamond firms that they are no longer authorized to submit diamonds to the GIA for laboratory grading, the DTC reminded sightholders that they are contractually bound by the DTC's Best Practice Principles, which emphasize the requirement to follow the highest professional and ethical standards in the industry.

In DTC's first letter [Read about the first letter] obtained by Rapaport on October 27, 2005, the DTC warned sightholders that it would not hesitate to take action against a sightholders for improper business behavior.

Sightholders are encouraged to address related correspondence to Desmond Cavanagh, DTC director of sales.

The GIA has conducted an internal investigation and has given to federal authorities in the United States the names of businesses and individuals implicated in the bribe-for-cert-upgrade scandal. The GIA has also recently informed those suspected of being involved that they have been banned from submitting diamonds for grading.

The following is the letter issued by the DTC to its sightholders:

Dear Sightholder

You will recall that, on the 30th November 2005, Gareth and I wrote to all Sightholders personally in connection with the allegations relating to conduct aimed at influencing the outcome of GIA grading reports. In this letter we sought certain assurances from Sightholders on behalf of their Sightholder groups in respect of any involvement in what has been termed by the industry as "Certifigate."

We now understand that, as a result of the continuing investigation into violations of its Code of Ethics, the GIA has recently written to a number of additional businesses and/or individuals informing them that they are no longer able to submit stones to the GIA for laboratory grading.

I feel it important to re-emphasise that we take these matters very seriously and would like to remind you that:

* By signing the Sightholder Policy Statement, you are contractually bound to comply with The Diamond Trading Company Limited's Best Practice Principles ("BPPs"). The BPPs emphasise the requirement for the "highest professional and ethical standards".

* Criterion 6 of the Sightholder Criteria and other Considerations to the makes it clear that a Sightholder must demonstrate that it has a good reputation in all its business dealings.

Rather than repeatedly writing individual letters to Sightholders asking them to confirm their non-involvement or implication in any way whatsoever in 'Certifigate' on each occasion a relevant development comes to the DTC's attention, I would like to emphasise that it is incumbent on Sightholders to pro-actively and immediately inform the DTC (providing a full written explanation) if the assurances you provided to us following our letter of 30th November have changed in any way whatsoever. We would also encourage Brokers to remind their clients of the obligations referred to above.

You are kindly requested to address any such correspondence to Desmond Cavanagh - DTC Director of Sales.

I am sure you will welcome this move and support the DTC in seeking to maintain the integrity of our industry and consumer confidence in diamonds and diamond jewellery.

Yours sincerely,

Varda Shine

Managing Director

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Tags: DTC, GIA, Sightholders, United States
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