02 Jul 2022
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Real Diamonds are natural No More?
Revised FTC Jewellery Guidelines
By: Diamond World News Service
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Oct 22 2018 11:25AM
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Reference: 16703  

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  • LAB-GROWN,Federal Trade Commission,International Grown
  • Diamond Association,Diamond Producers Association,Jean-Marc Lieberherr,Gems & Jewellery Export
  • Promotion Council,IGDA,Jean-Marc Lieberherr
    The US Federal Trade Commission recently revised the descriptive nomenclature for diamonds. The new guidelines, intended to protect consumers from deceptive marketing, seem inconsistent with ISO nomenclature and are clearly pro lab-grown. The revisions have shocked the mined diamond industry and opened up a Pandora’s Box of accusations with producers of mined diamonds sharply pitted against the lobby for laboratory grown diamonds, besides issuance of parallel guidelines by leading diamond industry organisations that has created more confusion for the hapless consumer. Here is an insight into FTC revisions and what they mean for the US $80 billion global diamond market. By Aasha Gulrajani Swarup

    What is there in a name? Shakespeare may not agree but in these days of suave evolved multi-level marketing, nomenclature can impact erosion in market share and value. It is to protect inventory values and prevent consumer deception that producers of mined diamonds are pitted against the lab grown lobby to protest against the revision of the Jewelry Guides by the Federal Trade Commission, an independent agency of the U.S. Government for consumer protection and prevention of anti-competitive practices.

    The FTC recently revised its Jewelry Guides to prevent deception in jewellery marketing by providing a framework for businesses to avoid making any deceptive claims.

    MINED V/S LAB-GROWN
    However, while the revision of the Jewelry Guides by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is being termed as a long overdue correction by the labgrown diamond industry, the mined diamond industry, has claimed the revisions are inconsistent with ISO norms, followed by businesses globally, which shall leave the consumer confused and open to marketing deception.

    “With the revised Jewelry Guides, FTC has struck a balance between recognising latest scientific developments of the 21st century and realigning the jewellery industry’s marketing framework to ensure that consumers can make informed decisions ,” said Richard Garard, Secretary General, The International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA).

    After all, as the lab grown diamond industry reiterates the Commission first used the diamond definition in 1956, when there was only one type of diamond - natural stones mined from the earth -in the market. Since then technological advances have made it possible to create in a laboratory, diamonds with the same optical, physical and chemical properties as mined diamonds.

    LAB-GROWNS ARE NATURAL DIAMONDS
    Garard especially refers to the FTC dropping the word ‘natural’ from the definition of a diamond, that now recognises that diamonds can be cultured on earth, just as below the earth. Or even cautioning marketers not to use the terms ‘real’ or ‘genuine’ to imply that a lab-grown diamond is not in fact an actual diamond. “Lab-grown diamonds are absolutely 100 per cent diamond,” Garard adds.

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