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Industry Hopes to Appeal FTC Rulings

New directives not in line with current industry terminology, says WFDB.
Jul 29, 2018 7:09 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) intends to persuade the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to change its decision regarding the description of a diamond.

In its new jewelry guidelines, the FTC stated the term “diamond” does not necessary apply only to natural stones that are “of the earth.” Thus, lab-grown stones can also be referred to by the term “diamond.”

“We hope that the door is still open for us to go back and approach the FTC in order to try and persuade the organization to rethink its decision,” Ernie Blom, president of the WFDB, said last week.

The new guidelines don’t correspond with the Diamond Terminology Guidelines issued by the WFDB, in conjunction with other leading groups in the diamond and jewelry sectors, Blom noted. Those guidelines specify that a “diamond” means “natural.”

“We have a united stand regarding nomenclature, which was agreed with all the combined knowledge and experience of the leading industry bodies, but the FTC appears to have moved in a different direction,” Blom added.

However, the new FTC guide does maintain an important requirement, said Reuven Kaufman, president of the Diamond Dealers Club (DDC). It requires all lab-grown diamonds and colored stones to be disclosed as such, and sold using qualifying language.

“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,’” he noted.

The FTC’s rules are biased toward the lab-grown diamond sector, and did not take the views of the natural-diamond industry sufficiently into account, Blom said.

The revision now has the potential to cause confusion in the sector, he added, noting that although a lab-grown diamond must be marked as not being a mined stone, the new descriptors provide “too much latitude.”
Tags: DDC, Diamond Dealers Club, Diamond Terminology Guidelines, Ernie Blom, federal trade commission, ftc, Rapaport News, Reuven Kaufman, WFDB, World Federation of Diamond Bourses
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