Respected trade association

I REFER to the article headlined, 'Under cut', which appeared in Lai See's column in Business Post, on May 11, where Mr Gren Manuel refers to our two-week guarantee period as being a misleading assurance for diamonds purchased from our members.

To rectify this statement I would like to inform readers that the Diamond Importers Association (DIA), established in 1959, is among the four leading and most respected non-profit-making jewellery trade associations in Hong Kong. Its mission is to reinforce Hong Kong's status as 'The Diamond Centre of Asia' on the world map and to offer members of the jewellery-buying public greater protection so they purchase diamond jewellery with confidence.

Since its launch in 1972, the introduction card has been distributed to visitors to Hong Kong to serve as a useful resource of information and advice. It contains valuable information on tips on choosing perfect diamonds - the 4C's (cut, clarity, carat weight, colour), a contact list of DIA members, a list and rates of gem testing laboratories and a questionnaire to solicit opinions on the service provided by DIA members.

The two-week 'full money back' guarantee was instituted as it was considered sufficient time for a consumer to decide whether his purchase was satisfactory and at the same time to protect the DIA retailer who may have to make a substantial refund to the customer who decided to return a piece of jewellery. Since our guarantee is for a full refund, the two weeks also protects the shop owner from having to accept a piece of jewellery which may have been worn for several months thereby making it unsaleable until it was re-finished. It is common knowledge among the trade that some consumers purchase jewellery to wear to a special occasion and return it to the shop after the event.

GABRIELA ERICKSON Administrator The Diamond Importers Associations