February 10, 2003
Associations Issue Joint Statement on Diffusion Treatment at Tucson
The American Gem Trade Association, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, the American Gem Society and Jewelers of America issued a joint statement Feb. 7 urging disclosure of diffusion treatments. "In order to maintain integrity of the U.S. marketplace, we urge complete, accurate and clear disclosure of the treatment to certain corundum and corundum jewelry products for sale in the United States." The statement includes the following points:
The international scientific and gemological communities confirm the new treatment used on certain corundum is a diffusion (bulk/lattice) treatment. The additives are used to create new and alter existing colors.
According to the Federal Trade Commission Guides for the Jewelry Industry and industry practices, this treatment must be disclosed at point of purchase by all sellers to all buyers at all levels of the trade.
Due to the lack of consistency and/or uniformity coloration of some stones, recutting and polishing could have an impact on color, creating increased concern for the consumer in terms of care requirements.
Based on these concerns, buyers of corundum should consider establishing written vendor agreements stipulating a requirement for such disclosure and further requiring the right to return material if this treatment is not disclosed at the time of sale.
U.S. laboratories which are engaged in research on this matter and are cooperating with the international gemological community are committed to continue efforts to identify this treatment, support the trade and protect the consumer.
by Robert Weldon, G.G.