2018 Jewelry Topics Addressed by the FTC

In 2012, 2013, and 2016 the FTC sought public input about the veracity and usefulness of the Guides. (You can read a summary of FTC diamond grading guidelines here).

Some of the topics addressed by the July 2018 revisions include the following: 

  • Surface applications of precious metals
  • Alloys with precious metals in amounts below minimum thresholds
  • Products containing more than one precious metal
  • “Cultured” diamonds
  • The definition of “diamond”

FTC Diamond Jewelry Revisions

These 2018 FTC revisions relate specifically to diamonds.

Cultured Diamonds

When referring to diamonds, “cultured” should refer to laboratory-created diamonds. The revised Guides advise against using the term “cultured” without qualification so that consumers avoid confusing “cultured” with “natural.” (Research suggests consumers think a “cultured diamond” is a natural product). The Guides make some suggestions for how to qualify “cultured,” for example, as “laboratory-created cultured diamonds.” However, the Guides don’t include the word “synthetic” among the examples that marketers can use as a qualifier.

What is a Diamond?

Previously, the Guides have defined a diamond as

a natural mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon crystallized in the isometric system. It is found in many colors. Its hardness is 10;