Upholding our standards – the IDC Rules

Antwerp, Belgium April 2, 2009 - Early last week, I received an announcement from the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) that the organization had amended its diamond definition. But as we later discovered, the media release was a mishap, which all went to prove the vital role played by the International Diamond Council on behalf of the WFDB and its sister organization IDMA.

RJC, which is the trading name for the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices (CRJP) wrote it would now define  "a 'diamond' as: a mineral (natural or laboratory‐grown) consisting essentially of pure carbon crystallised with a cubic structure in the isometric system. Its hardness on the Mohs scale is approximately 10; its specific gravity is approximately 3.52; it has a refractive index of approximately 2.42 and it can be found in many colours." Unquote.

RJC explained its motivation for the amendment thus: "The RJC has taken these actions so as to welcome laboratory‐grown diamond producers as RJC Members and, therefore, participants in the RJC System of Certification that involves third party auditing to verify conformance with the RJC’s standards of business ethics, human rights, social and environmental performance."

Naturally, RJCs statement raised a lot of eyebrows. Members of the WFDB, IDMA and, in particular, of the International Diamond Council (IDC) immediately requested RJC review its statement,  in particular since this statement created the impression that RJC had done away with the standards of the IDC, CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation; and of the US Federal Trade Commission.

The story, however, has a fortunate ending. At the RJC’s press conference held on Wednesday, March 25 at the BaselWorld show, the organization stated that it fully subscribes to the IDC rules. And in a separate statement, one of the RJC representatives added that the above quoted media release was an unfortunate mishap and was to be disregarded. Furthermore, a retraction of its original media press was published and a clarification was posted on the RJC website:

This episode just goes to show the importance of the IDC's work on behalf of the WFDB and its sister organization IDMA. More importantly, it is also proof of how deeply the IDC's rules have taken root in the diamond and jewellery industry at large. Together, we must do our utmost to uphold the standards set in our industry, standards that first and foremost serve to preserve and enhance consumer confidence in diamonds worldwide.