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The Jewelers Vigilance Committee clarifies the Federal Trade Commission's new Jewelry Guides
Synthetic diamonds
Credit: Hayahalom

On July 24, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) amended its Jewelry Guides. The revisions address several issues, among them composite gemstone products, “cultured” diamonds, qualifying claims about man-made gemstone products and the definition of “diamond”.


Criticism about the Guidelines


Over the last few weeks, several bodies, among them the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), have expressed concern over the revisions. Specifically, these bodies have complained that the revised Jewelry Guides which clarify that non-mined diamonds need not be called “synthetic” any more and the approval of the FTC of the term “cultured diamonds” which, according to the DPA, “if widely applied, would open the door to yet more consumer confusion and deception and would require the agency to address a large number of claims on a cumbersome case-by-case basis”.


Additionally, President of the WFDB Ernie Blom has issued a statement where he denounced the new FTC jewelry guidelines, saying: “The new guidelines are not in line with the Diamond Terminology Guidelines as agreed last year and implemented by the WFDB, the International Diamond Council, the International Diamond Manufacturers Association and CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation”.


The JVC Pointers


Most recently, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) has published pointers “on the most significant changes” to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) new Jewelry Guides, IDEX Online reports.


According to the JVC, “there are currently a lot of misconceptions” about the new guidelines, and the JVC aims to “educate every level of the jewelry supply chain on how these changes actually affect their business”.


The JVC published these top five Facts of the New FTC Jewelry Guides:


1. “Diamond” still means diamond. In an advertisement/marketing piece in print or online, the word “diamond” alone still means a natural diamond from the earth.


2. Laboratory grown diamonds must be disclosed using “Laboratory-grown,” “Laboratory-created,” “[Manufacturer name]-created,” or a similar or like word or phrase that clearly discloses the nature of the product.


3. If the word “cultured” is used, you must also have one of the disclosures above; “cultured” cannot be used alone.


4. It’s still okay to use the word “synthetic,” just not in a way that implies it’s a stimulant. The words “real” “genuine” “natural” “semi-precious” and “precious” can only be used to describe diamonds and colored stones from the earth; these words cannot be used to describe manufactured or artificially produced products.


5. The 10K minimum on gold has been eliminated. There is no floor on what can be called “gold” so long as the fineness is disclosed. All rhodium plating must now be disclosed.

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