1. What is your objective by issuing these guidelines?
Our single objective is to ensure that consumers are not confused about the reality behind different terminologies used. Laboratory-grown diamonds are a new product which is not yet well understood by consumers. Add to that the wide variety of terms used to describe them, some of them clearly misleading (eg “above ground diamonds”), and you have a recipe for total confusion, which can only damage consumer confidence in our product and our sector. We need to introduce discipline and transparency and following existing standards is step N°1.
2. Why did the 9 organisations feel the need to produce such a document when there is the Blue Book and the ISO Standards?
The Blue Book and the ISO standard are excellent documents but we realised that many industry members were still not clear about their content when it comes to terminologies to be used when referring to diamonds and synthetic diamonds in particular. On this essential question, we decided to produce a very simple, clear and easily accessible reference document totally aligned to the Blue Book and ISO. This is to provide clarity and reiterate the broad industry support for these standards.
3. We notice that you are recommending not to use abbreviations such as lab-grown which are widely used today. Why do you do this?
Our sole objective is to provide unambiguous clarity about the standards in place, not to interpret them. The standards today do not support the use of abbreviations as they can be a source of ambiguity. Hence our Guideline recommends the full respect of existing standards and recommends usage of the full term.
4. What enforcement mechanism are you going to use? Are these just lose guidelines or strict standards which you will enforce with your membership, and how will you do this?
Generic response : Every organisation will be reviewing internally and decide the level of enforcement they wish to implement. What is important is that there is now clarity as to what the standards are, and clear support from all major industry organisations for these standards.
Specific : As per your organisation’s decision
5. Will the Guide be adjusted when the new FTC guide is finalised to reflect it?
The FTC Guide is an important document that is today broadly aligned to the ISO Standard and CIBJO Blue Book which are international standards. We are confident that it will remain so but in case there are discrepancies, we will review as group. In particular, many industry organisations, either directly or through the Jewellers Vigilance Committee (JVC) have clearly expressed their opposition to the usage of the word “cultured” under any circumstances as they see it as an attempt to conceal the reality of the production process of laboratory-grown diamonds.
6. I see a DPA address for queries at the bottom of the guide. Does that mean that the DPA is behind this initiative and leading it?
The DPA originally proposed this initiative to 15 industry organisations gathered to discuss the formation of the International Diamond Monitoring Committee in Hong Kong and it was unanimously accepted. A working group made up of DPA, AWDC and CIBJO experts was assembled and this is their work. DPA has accepted to be first point of contact as a support to the other organisations. You will notice though that the press release was issued by CIBJO. This is truly an industry-wide collaborative initiative. Nothing more to read in it.
7. As a retailer or trader, where do I use the Diamond Terminology Guideline?
We recommend that all your communications and marketing material comply with the Diamond Terminology Guideline. This includes all means of communications such as websites, brochures, catalogues, promotional material and advertising, but also articles, interviews etc. It applies equally to B2B and B2C communications. It is by being all consistent and aligned that consumers will eventually come to understand what every term actually means and remain confident about our industry and our product.
8. I’m worried that changing the name of my synthetic diamonds will affect sales numbers, can I still call my synthetic diamonds cultivated?
No, the only authorised qualifiers as per the ISO and CIBJO Blue Book when referring to synthetic diamonds are “synthetic”, “laboratory-grown” or “laboratory-created”. They are the ones we as organisations endorse. Cultured is misleading because it refers to an organic product like cultured pearls whose growth process is natural. There are great long-term benefits from ensuring that consumers can clearly distinguish between the two product categories and are not confused by multiple descriptors.
9. What happens if I decide not to implement the Diamond Terminology Guideline?
Alignment to the Diamond Terminology Guideline will be included as a requirement for membership to some industry organisations. However, the greatest benefit is the increased confidence your customers will have for your company through the usage of clear and accessible terminology.
10. Why shall I adopt the terminology in the Diamond Terminology Guideline?
Protecting consumer confidence is of paramount importance to the welfare of the diamond industry. The alignment of terminology, across all parts of the industry, will remove confusion and make it easier for consumers to make informed decisions. This will in turn makes our product category more attractive to consumers. Your adoption of the Diamond Terminology Guideline is an important part of safeguarding consumer confidence and stimulating consumer demand.
11. What date shall we implement the Diamond Terminology Guideline?
The Diamond Terminology Guideline is effective from 16 January 2018 onwards.