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CIBJO Calls for Synthetics Treatment Disclosure

Transparency rules apply to both natural and lab-grown diamonds, organization says.
Mar 17, 2019 10:57 AM   By Rapaport News
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 The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) has specified the need to disclose treatments when it comes to both natural and lab-grown diamonds.

Sellers must make the disclosure clearly, both at the time of sale and before, the organization noted in guidelines it released last week. The same instructions apply to natural and synthetic colored gemstones, CIBJO said.

The guidelines apply to any stone that has been treated to change its color, durability, stability or clarity, CIBJO explained. Those treatments include irradiation, coating, heating and annealing, and High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT).

While disclosure of treatments for natural diamonds has not been an issue of debate, applying the same rules to synthetic stones is more controversial. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) determined it was necessary to disclose any treatment that significantly affects the stone’s value. However, De Beers maintains it does not need to disclose treatments to the lab-grown diamonds in its Lightbox brand, claiming they are just one more step in the manufacturing process of a synthetic product.

CIBJO believes the rules for lab-grown diamonds and gemstones should be the same as those for natural ones.

Sellers should use the descriptions “treated synthetic diamond,” “treated laboratory-created diamond” or “treated laboratory-grown diamond” for these stones, a CIBJO spokesperson told Rapaport News last week. 

The “Do’s and Don’ts” guidelines for ethically responsible trading in diamonds, colored gemstones, pearls and corals discuss terminology for referring to natural and synthetic stones, and the ways in which information must be marketed and disclosed.

The new guidelines have yet to be added to CIBJO’s Blue Book, which is updated every three years, it said. The new revisions to its Diamond Blue Book will take place in 2020.

Image: Diamonds and colored gemstones. (Shutterstock)
Tags: CIBJO, De Beers, Diamond Blue Book, federal trade commission, ftc, High Pressure-High Temperature, HPHT, lab-grown diamonds, Lightbox, Rapaport News, treatment, World Jewellery Confederation
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