The GemCode is a Code of Conduct developed from the World Jewellery Confederation's (CIBJO) 'Blue Books' that deals with fundamental elements of fair and ethical practice governing Membership of the Association, and makes up an essential part of the By-Laws of the Association. You can read the full GemCode below, or download a paper copy at the bottom of this page.

  1. GemCode

Extract from the by-laws §7: Code of Practice

aThe Gem Code is a basic Code of Practice for fair and honest gem descriptions and disclosures. Adherence to the Gem Code is expected of all Members and is one of the conditions of being a Corporate Member of the Association. The Gem Code applies at every level of the trade.

bCIBJO (World Jewellery Confederation) guide lines and definitions are taken as defining best practice and will be the reference used in the event of a dispute that cannot be resolved by mutual or mediated agreement on the basis of the Gem Code given below.

cThe Gem Code covers natural coloured stones and diamonds, including those that are modified, whether cut or rough; synthetic or imitation stones whether cut or rough, and natural or cultured pearls and their imitations. For the sake of simplicity, the term ‘stone’ is used in the following clauses to cover all of these.

dThe Association considers it to be unfair or deceptive to misrepresent or withhold information which an average consumer might reasonably expect to receive prior to making a purchase decision. This may include information relating to the size, nature, quality, modification, durability, value or rarity of a stone.

eIn particular the information received by a buyer prior to purchase should:

iExplain whether a stone is natural, synthetic or imitation. (Note: A synthetic stone is not natural, but has essentially identical composition and properties to a natural stone; imitations are in other materials, such as glass).

iiExplain whether pearls are natural, cultured or imitation.

iiiExplain if the stone is known to have been modified (treated) and, if applicable, how the modification may affect its durability in manufacture, repair, cleaning or use.

fWhere reliable information, such as a third party laboratory report or appraisal, is not easily or economically available to comply with §7. d and §7.e. i, ii and iii, the seller should be diligent and honest in explaining the likely nature and durability of the stone or stones in line with readily available industry information

hThe Association does not consider it to be deceptive to describe synthetic stones by alternative terms such as ‘Laboratory Created’ or ‘Laboratory Grown’, provided that an average consumer would readily understand prior to purchase that the stones are not natural.

iReceipts or other documentation at the time of sale should also comply with the relevant clauses above. Buyers may expect to receive or have access to relevant information in written or electronic form.

jWhere applicable, local legislation takes precedence over the above clauses.

kA complaint that a Member had acted in a manner contrary to this Code will be dealt with as described in §9.

Download the GemCode


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