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Press Release: CIBJO Welcomes New ISO Standard for Diamond Marketing

Jul 27, 2015 6:39 AM   By CIBJO
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Press Release: CIBJO welcomed the publication this month of ISO International Standard 18323, which specifies permitted terms to be used by the diamond industry in the sale of diamonds to consumers.

The new standard by the International Standards Organization explicitly defines a diamond as having been created by nature and further notes that without further qualification, the term “diamond” always implies a natural diamond. The new ISO International Standard mirrors the definitions outlined in CIBJO's Diamond Blue Book, which are aligned with those of the International Diamond Council (IDC).

"This a development of the utmost importance, not only for us in the industry, but first and foremost for jewelry consumers, who are now better protected through international conventions than they previously were," said Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO's president, regarding the new standard. "We are particularly proud because the ISO standard essentially codifies our Diamond Blue Book rules."

The new standard defines nomenclature that must be used, and nomenclature that cannot be used, in the buying and selling of diamonds, treated diamonds and synthetic diamonds. In particular, it outlines how to describe synthetic diamonds in a clear and accurate manner. It does not specifically address the grading of diamonds.

The new ISO International Standard defines a synthetic diamond as "an artificial product that has essentially the same chemical composition, crystal structure and physical (including optical) properties as a diamond." The only permissible terms that may be used to describe it are "synthetic diamond," "laboratory-grown diamond" or "laboratory-created diamond," and no abbreviations can be used.

ISO International Standard 18323 unambiguously bars the use of adjectives such as "cultured" and "cultivated," as well as "real," "genuine," "precious" and "gem," to describe any synthetic diamond. The use of such words can be considered deceptive.

The new standard describes a treated diamond as a "diamond having undergone any human intervention other than cutting, polishing, cleaning and setting, to permanently or non-permanently change its appearance." It states that any diamond having been subject to a treatment shall be disclosed as a "treated diamond" and/or include a specific reference to the particular treatment. The description must be immediately apparent and unambiguous, and no abbreviations may be used. The new standard furthermore emphasizes that the terms "natural treated diamond" or "treated natural diamond" must not be used because they can be misleading. Any special care requirements that should be considered because of a particular treatment must be disclosed.

The process to obtain the new ISO standard began seven years ago in Europe, with CIBJO serving as the lead organization in a coalition that also included De Beers, Rio Tinto, BHP and the International Diamond Council. 
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Tags: CIBJO, diamond marketing, Gaetano Cavalieri, International Diamond Council, Synthetic diamonds
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