January 28th, 2020
The United Kingdom has become one of a handful of nations to take proactive steps to protect diamond jewelry buyers from confusing sales labeling, thanks to a collaboration between the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) and UK Trading Standards. The NAJ has announced a guide for correctly labeling different diamond jewelry types accepted by Trading Standards to stop customers feeling duped.
According to the NAJ, many buyers feel confused about the names used to describe natural diamonds, synthetic diamonds and imitation diamonds. Without clear labeling, shoppers are at risk of ‘accidentally’ purchasing a product that is synthetic when they believe it to be a natural diamond from the earth. To banish this confusion, the leading jewelry industry body in the UK, the NAJ, has taken proactive steps with Trading Standards to enshrine its Diamond Terminology Guideline as ‘Assured Advice’. This means the 2,000 businesses that are Members of the NAJ have received advice from Trading Standards on describing diamonds, based around the already pre-existing Diamond Terminology Guideline (DTG). First created in 2018 by the NAJ and eight global diamond organizations, including the World Diamond Council, the aim of the DTG was to get all nations on the same page when it comes to describing diamonds in store and online.
NAJ chief executive, Simon Forrester, says, “We are quite lucky in the UK that we haven’t seen many cases of sellers purposefully trying to confuse customers. We know this definitely isn’t the case in other places, where laboratory-grown diamonds are misleadingly sold and could be mixed-up with natural diamonds, mined from the earth, in the mind of the buyer.” Forrester adds: “Natural diamonds are rare and more expensive per carat than synthetic and imitation diamonds, which makes clear labelling absolutely essential when buying. If a piece of diamond jewelry seems too good to be true, make sure you are aware of the ‘Assured Advice’ around diamond terminology and be prepared to ask questions about the stone’s origins.”
NAJ Members in the UK will now be expected to follow the DTG if they want to be legally protected against the risk of enforcement action. Those found to be ignoring the rules may be at risk of repercussions from Trading Standards or even legal action. The use of synthetic diamonds in fine jewelry is relatively new, but many collections have been launched under a wide range of confusing names, such as ‘cultured diamonds’. With the proper testing instruments, diamond detection specialists can easily separate synthetic diamonds and natural diamonds, but the differences between them may not be immediately apparent by eye alone.