While in the industry at large, the IDC may be regarded as an independent body that seeks to define an international diamond grading standard, it is important to realize that that this is a misconception. IDC is a reflection of the two organizations that established IDC, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA).
Many decades of tireless work by WFDB and IDMA officials, leading gemmologists and other industry experts have led to the creation of the IDC Rules. The first edition of the rules was published in 1978, the second in 1995 and the most recent in the autumn of 2008.
As a rule, IDC holds several annual meetings, which are attended by the IDC officers and other invited experts. During these meetings, reports and findings are discussed and recommendations are drawn up for presentation tothe WFDB and IDMA. Ultimately, all proposals, amendments, new ideas and decisions formulated by IDC must be forwarded to the WFDB and IDMA for their membership to discuss and vote upon.
Since its inception, the officers of IDC, who are representatives of diamond centres and leading gemmological laboratories, have sought to consult with as many industry bodies as possible, especially when dealing with nomenclature issues that are controversial and/or complicated. After all, the IDC Rules should be fair, accurate and practical.
Of course, there is no lack of controversy. For instance, IDC has since long been involved in the discussion whether an additional clarity grade, SI-3, needed to be integrated in the accepted range of clarity grade (VVS1 – VVS2- VS1 – VS2 – SI1 – SI 2 – P1 – P2 – P3). The IDC officers and committee members have dedicated much of their time meeting with colleagues of the WFDB and IDMA, as well as with leading gemologists and experts. There is still no industry consensus on the issue and therefore, it remains unresolved, and therefore the current IDC Rules do not allow for the SI-3 clarity grade.
Another well-publicised case concerns the nomenclature of gem-quality synthetic diamonds. The IDC not only needed to refer to the WFDB and IDMA, but also entered into dialogue with other organisations that endeavour to create industry standards, such as CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, as well as with the companies that manufacture synthetic diamonds. To this end, IDC also conducted a series of discussions with the top management of the Gemological Institute of America, after which the GIA agreed to establish special and separate nomenclature for synthetic diamonds. However, while the discussions about the nomenclature for synthetics have led to a virtual industry-wide consensus, the establishment of a globally accepted, standard nomenclature for synthetic diamonds is still not a reality. While the overwhelming majority of the global diamond and jewellery industry is expected to adopt the new ISO 18323 standard for diamond nomenclature, the nomenclature on record by the USA's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is not in sync with the ISO 18323 standard, the ID Rules and CIBJO's Diamond Book.