Speaking Out on Diamond Issues
The Jewelry Information Center and Jewelers of America
have prepared information for you to share with the public on
three hot topics: GE/POL, diamond synthetics and synthetic moissanite
The Jewelry Information Center has developed a brief you can
consult in case you're asked about GE/POL or synthetic diamonds
this holiday season. JIC developed the information in conjunction
with the Gemological Institute of America, Diamond Information
Center, Jewelers Vigilance Committee and American Gem Society.
Professional Jeweler has edited the brief for space reasons.
Call JIC at (800) 459-0130 for a full copy.
Also Jewelers of America has prepared market updates for its
members on GE/POL, synthetics and synthetic moissanite. We reprint
excerpts from JA's updates on moissanite to complement the JIC
brief. Call JA at (800) 223-0673 for a full copy of its update.
On March 1, General Electric and Lazare Kaplan International
announced a technological process developed by GE scientists
to improve the color of a select group of natural diamonds. These
stones will be marketed exclusively by POL, a new subsidiary
of LKI. The actual process remains undisclosed, however, GE has
confirmed it involves subjecting natural diamonds to intense
heat and pressure. GE and LKI have agreed to identify all GE/POL
stones with a laser inscription on the girdle (GE/POL). Each
stone will be accompanied by a diamond grading report from GIA
clearly indicating the stone has undergone the GE treatment.
JIC says you should be aware that:
- GIA has been able to identify several GE/POL diamonds that
were resubmitted to its lab with the inscription wholly or partially
removed. GIA will reinscribe the GE/POL mark where it has been
found to be removed.
- The World Federation of Diamond Bourses will impose sanctions
and penalties for dealers who fail to disclose or who remove
a laser inscription identifying a treated diamond.
- According to the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, anyone who
knowingly removes the inscription and tries to sell a treated
diamond as untreated could be prosecuted for deceptive trade
practices and fraud.
- A full consumer marketing and promotional package will accompany
GE/POL diamonds, along with a warranty from GE. This warranty
will be rendered null and void if the inscription is tampered
To help you answer other questions about GE/POL diamonds:
||Will many color-enhanced diamonds
||No. Only a very small number of diamonds
are suited for this process.
||If retailers can't detect GE/POL
diamonds gemologically, how will a consumer know whether his
or her diamond was altered?
||All GE/POL diamonds are inscribed
on the girdle and are accompanied by a GIA diamond grading report
clearly identifying them.
||What happens if a consumer later
discovers he or she bought a GE/POL diamond without it being
||A professional jeweler will stand
behind the products he or she sells. The World Federation of
Diamond Bourses has recommended that if any GE/POL diamond is
sold without disclosure, even in good faith, the buyer is entitled
to a full refund.
||Synthetic Diamonds: JIC helps
you answer these questions on synthetic diamonds:
||Will every retailer be able to tell
the difference between synthetic and natural diamonds?
||Many retailers are gemologists or
have the instruments that detect synthetics. Questionable diamonds
also can be sent to a gemological lab for identification as natural
||How can a consumer be sure he's not
getting a synthetic diamond?
||Strict consumer protection laws require
full disclosure of synthetic diamonds. Consumers should shop
at a well-established jeweler they trust. They should get everything
in writing and, if it's a significant diamond, may want to ask
for an independent laboratory report that will disclose whether
the diamond is natural. They also should get the retailer's return
and refund policy in writing.
||Will synthetic diamonds devalue natural
||Experience with synthetics in the colored stone
industry suggests synthetic diamonds will not erode the market
for natural diamonds and may create greater awareness and desirability
for the natural gem.
JA's update on synthetic moissanite states the material shares
many of diamond's visual characteristics when inspected with
the unaided eye. It also shares diamond's ability to
conduct heat rapidly. Because of this physical property, synthetic
moissanite can't be separated from diamond with a standard diamond
tester. Testers designed specifically to separate synthetic moissanite
from diamond are available from several vendors. The material
can be detected also by looking for double refraction using 10X
magnification. Here are some other tips:
- Make sure your customers know your store personnel are able
to identify synthetic moissanite in the jewelry they bring in
as well as in jewelry you sell.
- If you have a synthetic moissanite detector, you should demonstrate
how it works using a diamond and a synthetic moissanite.
- According to JVC, the Federal Trade Commission in its Guidelines
for the Jewelry Industry requires complete and proper disclosure
of synthetic gem materials to customers. Words such as "gem"
and "gemstone" cannot be used to describe a synthetic
moissanite unless you also use the term "synthetic"
or "laboratory-created." The FTC also considers use
of the words "faux" or "created" by themselves
unacceptable and misleading. Synthetic moissanite can't be described
as simply moissanite.
By Caroline Stanley, Director of Marketing &
Communications, Jewelers of America
Caroline Stanley is a third-generation jeweler working as
director of marketing and communications for Jewelers of America
(call 800-223-0673 for membership information.) She also is a
past president of the Arkansas Jewelers Association, has worked
with Platinum Guild International and won a Women's Jewelry Association
Award of Excellence.
Who Ya Gonna Call?
Media types are hungry for expert information. Here are some
organizations that can help. If you are a member of a retail
jewelers group, such as Jewelers of America, American
Gem Society or Independent Jewelers Organization these
groups also have information.
Jewelry Information Center
Diamond Information Center
American Gem Trade Association
Cultured Pearl Information Center
Platinum Guild International
World Gold Council
Silver Information Center
Watchmakers of Switzerland Information Center
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.