WFDB President Responds to Nurit Rothmann on Lack of Transparency in Rough Diamond Trade

Rough Market
09/03/2016 14:52

Nurit Rothmann's most recent blog, entitled “Playing the High Stakes Game with a Marked Deck of Cards,” which considers the lack of transparency in the rough diamond trade as well as measures designed to remedy the situation, has instigated a good amount of debate, much of it positive and constructive. Among the persons who reacted was Ernest Blom, President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, who requested that his response be published:

Dear Ms Rothmann,

I read with great interest your latest blog article: Playing the High Stakes Game With a Marked Set of Cards. I believe your article raises important questions relating to the need for increasing transparency in the global diamond industry.

Please allow me to clarify one point, however. You write: "More than two years ago the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) decided that, while a diamond dealer is not necessarily obliged to reveal the results of a Galatea analysis, he or she is obliged to inform a potential buyer that such a report does exist, and this should be confirmed by a laser inscription on the stone." Further on, you state: "In the meantime a group of young Israelis, most of them second-generation diamantaires, have established a group whose goal it is to encourage as many bourses as possible to join the WFDB initiative."

While it is true that the WFDB has, indeed, discussed this issue thoroughly on a couple of occasions, with input from our bourse presidents across the world, no decision was made. I believe it is important for this point to be stressed.

Our 30 affiliated bourses are free to reach their own decisions on this issue and, as you write, the Israel Diamond Exchange is moving ahead with its own steps.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you for raising this issue as it goes to the heart of transparency in diamond dealings, which the WFDB promotes vigorously. As I am sure you are aware, the World Diamond Congress is being held in Dubai in May and the themes we have chosen are: Transparency, Responsibility, Sustainability.

The WFDB is keen to see rising levels of transparency because, firstly, it is critical for diamond companies to be able to trust each other, secondly it will aid the diamond industry in securing financing from the banking sector; and, thirdly, and vitally, consumers will see that we are an open and transparent trade that has nothing whatsoever to hide.

Ernie Blom