Since its inception, 40 years ago (1975), the IDC has been a propagator of consumer confidence in polished diamonds. Today, more than ever before, the diamond and jewellery industry is queried by all players in the downstream diamond supply pipeline, including the global diamond jewellery consumer, about what it is doing to uphold and protect the integrity of diamonds in the consumer markets.
The IDC's specific task is to assure that industry members apply the correct diamond nomenclature and terminology when trading diamonds. In 1975, the founders of the IDC – the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) - formulated the following Mission Statement for IDC:
- To formulate a set of internationally recognised standards for diamond grading and nomenclature that would be applicable in the same way all over the world;
- To normalise working methods for applying those standards;
- To encourage internationally recognised institutes to apply those accepted standards and methods.
This Mission Statement is still valid today. However, during the four decades since its founding, the diamond industry has been confronted with a flurry of developments that included, among others, the proliferation of treatments and other enhancement processes. Since 1975, we have been introduced and become used to term such as laser drilling, fracture filling, coating, HPHT, irradiation, etc.
In addition, since the turn of the century, we also have witnessed the introduction of gem quality synthetic diamonds, a phenomenon that required the diamond trade, and the IDC in particular, to propose, discuss and introduce new nomenclature and terminology, with the single goal to assure that for these relatively new phenomena, the members of the trade would adopt terminology that is part and parcel of the industry's consensus, to protect its integrity and advance consumer confidence in the industry and the diamonds it sells.
The above described developments are reflected in the International Rules for Grading Polished Diamonds, in short the IDC Rules. Understandably, the IDC Rules are a 'living document' that requires continuous discussion, changes, additions and updates. This is the task of the officers of IDC, who, delegated by the WFDB and IDMA, regularly meet to these challenges.
In closing, the IDC officers are very pleased to have played, together with their colleagues of CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confereration, a decisive role in the recent introduction of a new ISO diamond nomenclature standard ISO 18323 Jewellery -- Consumer confidence in the diamond industry.