Diamond Dealers Club Comments on Revised FTC Guidelines

The Diamond Dealers Club of New York said it is working closely with other industry organizations to address the changes going forward in the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) revised Jewelry Guide, which governs, among other things, the marketing and description of diamonds, jewelry, and colored stones.

"However, in the short term, to avoid possible confusion, the Diamond Dealers Club reminds its members and all industry participants that the new Guide maintains an important requirement: all lab-grown diamonds and colored stones must be clearly disclosed as such. If a product is sold as a 'diamond,' without any qualifying language, it must be a natural diamond."

Diamond Dealers Club President Reuven Kaufman explained, “The key takeaway for the industry is that, just as it has always been, the natural diamond is the only stone that can be sold, without any further qualification, as a ‘diamond.’”

The Diamond Dealers Club highlighted the following excerpted passages from the revised Jewelry Guide (which apply to diamonds, as well as other precious stones, as per § 23.12):

  • 23.25(a): “It is unfair or deceptive to use the unqualified words ‘‘ruby,’’ ‘‘sapphire,’’ ‘‘emerald,’’ ‘‘topaz,’’ or the name of any other precious or semi-precious stone to describe any product that is not in fact a mined stone of the type described.”
  • 23.25(b): “It is unfair or deceptive to use the word ‘‘ruby,’’ ‘‘sapphire,’’ ‘‘emerald,’’ ‘‘topaz,’’ or the name of any other precious or semi-precious stone, or the word ‘‘stone,’’ ‘‘birthstone,’’ “gem,” ‘‘gemstone,’’ or similar term to describe a laboratory-grown, laboratory-created, [manufacturer name]-created, synthetic, imitation, or simulated stone, unless such word or name is immediately preceded with equal conspicuousness by the word ‘‘laboratory-grown,’’ ‘‘laboratory-created,’’ ‘‘[manufacturer name]-created,’’ or some other word or phrase of like meaning, or by the word ‘‘imitation’’ or ‘‘simulated,” so as to disclose clearly the nature of the product and the fact it is not a mined gemstone.”
  • 23.27 “It is unfair or deceptive to use the word ‘‘real,’’ ‘‘genuine,’’ ‘‘natural,’’ ‘‘precious,’’ ‘‘semi-precious ,’’ or similar terms to describe any industry product that is manufactured or produced artificially.”

The Diamond Dealers Club said it also wished to remind industry participants that as per § 23.0(b) “These guides apply to persons, partnerships, or corporations, at every level of the trade (including but not limited to manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers) engaged in the business of offering for sale, selling, or distributing industry products.”