A story that was covered in this week's Thank TheGemBank it's Friday was "Rapaport Calls Diamond Overgrading "Significant Threat" to Industry - and it poses the question; can diamond dealers and retailers be trusted to sell honestly graded diamonds?

Honesty is imperative in business, especially one such as ours where much of our trading, certainly where diamonds are being sold at consumer level, is built on trust. If only one diamond dealer or jeweller's business practice was brought into question in this way, and the public found out about it - it could bring into question the entire industry. And once trust is lost, it can be difficult at best, and impossible at worst to win back. So yes, everybody has to be trusted to sell honestly graded diamonds, if nothing else but to protect the integrity, respectability and credibility of our industry.

Trust and honesty is also the foundations for best business practice. The value of honesty in business has obvious implications. Asking who benefits from business honesty can explain why propriety is so very important. For the consumer, the advantage of honesty is unquestioned trust. For staff members, honesty and best business practices go hand in hand, it inspires loyalty and aids motivation. Of course, by following principled and responsible business practices, because it is simply the right thing to do, is as essential as practicing ethical behaviour for the positive consequences.

Unfortunately - at least according to the Rapaport, there are some unscrupulous diamond dealers and retailers who think nothing of using a third-party diamond grading report to overstate the colour and clarity of the diamonds they sell. And the report goes further suggesting that this practice is more common than we would like to think.

So I think the question, of "can diamond dealers and retailers be trusted to sell honestly graded diamonds" - is moot because, lest we want to bring into question our entire industry then we simply have to sell honestly graded diamonds. Any other way of doing business should not be tolerated.