By Brecken Branstrator
brecken.branstrator@nationaljeweler.com
Last year I came back from Tucson with a few observations, one of which was the increasing importance of the industry getting on the same page when it comes to key words used in conversations about sourcing.

What do we actually mean when we say ethical? Conflict? Recycled?

I later found out about a working group aiming to do just that—create a set of industry-accepted definitions for supply chain-related words.

Jewelry designer Emily Phillippy reached out after Tucson, and our conversation led to my blog post highlighting what the group is doing, including the survey they had deployed to gain feedback on the 10 definitions they were devising.

I now wanted to come back to the topic with a quick follow-up: The Jewelry Glossary Project is live.

The goal of the glossary, according to its website, is to create these shared definitions for use by the trade and the public. The group that has been working behind the scenes on the project for more than three years is comprised of jewelry designers, gemstone wholesalers, goldsmiths, educators and experts in the sector.

They’ve defined: ethical, conflict-free diamond, recycled, sustainability, Fair Trade Certified versus Fairtrade, and a handful of other terms, as they apply to the context of jewelry.

Visit the site, and check out the definitions.


If you have feedback or thoughts, reach out to the group at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; they emphasize that the glossary is a work in progress.

Emily recently told me they are revising as they see fit and will release new versions regularly. Each version will be labeled as PDFs on the website so the history of each definition can be followed.

She added the group is currently revisiting a few of the definitions that received the most feedback from the survey and will be releasing those changes soon

They also hope to eventually add more definitions to the list. 

For those traveling to Tucson in the coming weeks interested in learning more, the project will have a presence via participating gem show exhibitors and attendees, which will have Jewelry Glossary Project stickers with them.

The hope is people will stick them on their badges to help raise awareness.

Stickers will be at the following booths or with the following confirmed participants:
--Perpetuum Jewels, Ethical Gem Fair and Booth 2010 at GJX;
--Columbia Gem House, Ethical Gem Fair, Booth 1117 at AGTA GemFair and Booth R 158 at the Pueblo show;
--Third Coast Gems, walking around AGTA;
--Diamondoodles, walking around AGTA;
--Gemology Geek, walking around AGTA;
--Robert Bentley Co., Ethical Gem Fair and Booth 322 at AGTA; and
--Enji Studio Jewelry, Booth DC3 at JCK Tucson.

The vendors/attendees also will have lists of the definitions with them for anyone who may want a hard copy.


Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.