The Special Report of CIBJO’s Diamond Commission, released in preparation for the forthcoming CIBJO Congress in Bogotá, Colombia, on October 15, 2018, focuses on the
proper use of diamond terminology in distinguishing man-made stones from diamonds that are natural in origin.
Emphasising that the newly released guides of the US Federal Trade Commission have not changed “the bottom line when it comes to the unqualified use of the word ‘diamond’”, the head of the Diamond Commission, Udi Sheintal reiterates that even now, “it can only refer to a mined stone”.
He points out that the revised guides still insist that marketers of lab grown diamonds “use words or phrases that clearly and conspicuously indicate that their product had not been mined in nature, such as ‘laboratory-grown’, ‘laboratory created’ or ‘[manufacturer name]-created’”, while rejecting a suggestion that producers of natural diamonds should be asked “to label their products as ‘industrially-mined diamonds’”.
The report however points out that the “new FTC guides clearly recognize the synthetic diamond producers as fully-fledged participants in our industry”.
Stating that De Beers’ decision to launch Lightbox Jewelry is a game changer, and “would appear to be putting daylight between natural diamonds and synthetics”, Sheintal writes, “Its strategy also seems to undermine the business models of other synthetic producers, which contend that the price of natural diamonds will always be the benchmark for the prices at which they can sell their own products”.
Differing with the opinion expressed by analysts Chaim Even-Zohar and Pranay Narvekar that eventually “over the long term there will be only one diamond price, without premiums”, Sheintal stresses that it is up to the industry to create an identity for naturally-created goods that is different from those grown in a laboratory or factory.
“We now have to create a separate brand identity for diamonds mined in nature,” he concludes. “This is a not an impossible exercise. A white cotton t-shirt can be bought in a supermarket for $5, or at a Ralph Lauren store for $70. The physical composition of the two products may be similar, but their legends are very different. While the one is a generic product, the other is a luxury item backed by a sophisticated branding structure. Both are viable from a business perspective.”
News Source: gjepc.org