Industry Leaders Unite for 'Diamond Terminology Guideline'

Nine leading diamond and jewellery industry organisations, including CIBJO, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) and the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) have released a jointly developed ‘Diamond Terminology Guideline’ to foster clarity when referring to diamonds and synthetic diamonds.

The organisations (AWDC, CIBJO, DPA, GJEPC, IDI, IDMA, USJC, WDC and WFDB) believe this clear and accessible terminology, based on the ISO 18323 Standard and the CIBJO Diamond Blue Book, will aid other organisations, diamond traders and retailers when communicating with their clients and the end customer.

While not legally binding, the Diamond Terminology Guideline is designed to serve as the reference document when referring to or describing diamonds, synthetic diamonds and imitations of diamonds.

"Protecting consumer confidence is of paramount importance to the long-term success of our industry," said CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri. "The Diamond Terminology Guideline is an important tool in achieving this, by helping standardise the terminology used to clearly distinguish between diamonds and synthetic diamonds, in all communications, among ourselves and with our customers."

Cavalieri continues: "The Diamond Terminology Guideline is an important complement to the CIBJO Blue Book, with which it is fully consistent. It provides for easy and simple reference and will be distributed broadly within the industry. The accessible language, the succinct format and the broad support from leading industry organisations is intended to stimulate widespread implementation within trade and at the retail level."

A summary of the new guidelines can be found below:

DEFINITIONS

• A diamond is a mineral created by nature; a ‘diamond’ always means a natural diamond.
• A synthetic diamond is an artificial product that has essentially the same physical characteristics as a diamond.
• An imitation diamond, also named a diamond simulant, is an artificial product that imitates the appearance of diamonds without having their chemical composition, physical properties or structure.
• A gemstone is a mineral of natural origin that is used in jewellery for reasons of combined beauty, rareness and intrinsic value.

TERMINOLOGY

When referring to synthetic diamonds:

• Use one of the following authorised qualifiers when referring to synthetic diamonds: ‘synthetic’, ‘laboratory-grown’ or ‘laboratory-created’.
• Do not use abbreviations such as ‘lab-grown’ and ‘lab-created’.
• Do not use the following terms: ‘cultured diamonds’ and ‘cultivated diamonds’ as ‘cultured’ and ‘cultivated’ refer exclusively to organic /biogenic products.
• Do not use the following terms: ‘real’, ‘genuine’, ‘precious’, ‘authentic’ and ‘natural’ as those apply exclusively to natural minerals and gemstones.

RECOMMENDATION

• A diamond is natural by definition. Therefore, use the word ‘diamond’ without a qualifier when referring to a diamond.
• If differentiation from synthetic diamonds is required, use the term ‘natural diamonds’ as term of equivalent meaning.
• Do not use the following confusing expressions: ‘natural treated diamonds’ and ‘treated natural diamonds’. Instead, simply use ‘treated diamonds’.

What are your thoughts on the new guidelines? Share your ideas or insights via editor@gem-a.com

Interested in finding out more about diamonds? Sign-up to one of Gem-A's courses or workshops.

If you would like to subscribe to Gems&Jewellery and The Journal of Gemmology please visit Membership.

Cover image: 


The Fascinating History of Antique Turquoise Jewellery

The Fascinating History of Antique Turquoise Jewellery

In his third Gemstone Conversations column for Gems&Jewellery, Jewellery Historian and Valuer John Benjamin FGA DGA FIRV explores the fascinating history of turquoise and its use in jewellery design from the Shahs of Persia to the Art Deco design movement.

Read more


Birthstone Guide: Garnet For Those Born In January

Birthstone Guide: Garnet For Those Born In January

If you're lucky enough to be born in January, vibrant garnet is your birthstone. A rainbow jewel of the gem world, garnet displays the greatest variety of colour of any mineral and is very often untreated, making it a rarity in the gem world. 

Read more


Getting Started with Quartz Inclusions

Getting Started with Quartz Inclusions

Do you know your calcite inclusions from your dumortierite, epidote, fluorite and rutile? Here, Charles Bexfield FGA DGA EG explores some incredible quartz inclusions and explains what to look for when shopping for quartz specimens.

Read more


Understanding Iridescence: Opals, Pearls, Moonstones and Fractured Stones

Understanding Iridescence: Opals, Pearls, Moonstones and Fractured Stones

Iridescence has to be one of the most mesmerising and magical optical effects seen in gemstones. But have you ever wondered how it occurs? Gem-A's Collection Curator Barbara Kolator FGA DGA shines a light on this fascinating optical effect and tells us about the gems that are most likely to display it.

Read more


Hidden Treasures: Highlights of Gem-A's Gemstones and Minerals Collection

Hidden Treasures: Highlights of Gem-A's Gemstones and Minerals Collection

Gem-A Gemmology Tutor Pat Daly FGA DGA offers us a glimpse at some of the more unusual items in Gem-A's Gemstones and Minerals Collection.

Read more


Tanzanite: The Contemporary December Birthstone

Tanzanite: The Contemporary December Birthstone

Are you looking for the perfect festive gift for a December baby? Gem-A tutor Lily Faber FGA DGA EG considers tanzanite – one of three birthstones for December – and shares how this relatively new gemstone compares to its purple and blue-hued rivals.

Read more


Birthstone Guide: Turquoise For Those Born In December

Birthstone Guide: Turquoise For Those Born In December

Beautiful blue turquoise is one of three birthstones for the month of December (in addition to zircon and tanzanite). It is enriched with real cultural significance that can be traced back thousands of years. Here, we explore the blue shades of turquoise and explain what makes this gemstone so special...

Read more


Understanding the Cat's Eye Effect in Gemstones

Understanding the Cat's Eye Effect in Gemstones

Chatoyancy is the gemmological name given to the curious optical effect in which a band of light is reflected in cabochon-cut gemstones, creating an appearance similar to light bouncing off a cat's eye. Gem-A's Collection Curator, Barbara Kolator FGA DGA explains chatoyancy and highlights some of the many gems in which it can occur.

Read more


Jade and its Importance in China

Jade and its Importance in China

Jade has long been revered by gem lovers internationally, but nowhere more so than in China. But what is it that makes this gemstone so special? Gem-A's Assistant Gemmology Tutor Dr Juliette Hibou FGA gives us an overview of jade, how to identify it and its significance in Chinese culture.

Read more


Highlights of Gem-A Conference 2019

Highlights of Gem-A Conference 2019

The Gem-A Conference is always the highlight of our gemmological calendar! If you didn’t manage to make it, we’ve put together a few of the highlights from this year’s event to fill you in on what you missed, and whet your appetite for Gem-A Conference 2020!

Read more