RJC Is Developing a Standard for Lab-Grown Diamonds, Gems
It will be for all companies that deal in lab-grown materials.
The standard will be separate from RJC’s existing Code of Practices and will aim to establish best practices for the use of lab-grown diamonds and gems in jewelry. RJC said it will include social, environmental and business integrity requirements.
Executive Director Iris Van der Veken said developing a standard for lab-grown materials is important for the organization, as it underscores its goal of ensuring all jewelry is responsibly sourced, manufactured, and marketed.
“It is all about consumer confidence,” she said.
“This standard will provide a clear, robust framework not only for manufacturers and retailers, but also for reassuring customers that the manufacturers and sellers of [lab-grown materials] follow rigorous processes that ensure the credibility and transparency of their operations.”
The marketing of lab-grown diamonds, in particular, has been an issue in the past, with some companies not following Federal Trade Commission guidelines when advertising their products.
In the U.S., the FTC’s “Jewelry Guides” dictate that companies advertising lab-grown diamonds must use “clear and conspicuous” disclosure that appears in close proximity to the word “diamond.”
The FTC’s recommended terms are: laboratory-grown, laboratory-created or [manufacturer name]-created. Cultured can be used but has to be “immediately accompanied, with equal conspicuousness” by one of the three aforementioned terms; it cannot stand alone.
The Jewelry Guides also state that anytime the word “diamond” appears by itself in advertising, it must be referring to a natural diamond.
RJC announced development of the standard last week and said it will consult with all stakeholders and follow the ISEAL “Standard-Setting Code of Good Practices” in developing it. ISEAL is a global membership organization for sustainability systems like RJC, the Rainforest Alliance, and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Any and all interested parties are welcome to provide input and can contact RJC by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The organization’s multi-stakeholder Standards Committee is managing the consultation and development process.
RJC said it will start developing its new standard in Q4 this year and expects to finish in Q2 2022. The standard will receive a "robust" review before it is finalized.
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