The Board of Directors of CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has released a Laboratory-Grown Diamond Guidance document for review by officers and members of affiliated national associations and representatives of commercial members. This is the final stage in a more than two-year process to create a harmonized set of operating standards and principles for the laboratory-grown diamond sector.
Intended to assist all professionals handling laboratory-grown diamonds, the primary purpose of the guidance document is to protect and enhance consumer confidence. It was compiled by a committee of representatives from both the laboratory-grown diamond sector and the natural diamond sector.
A key principle of the Laboratory-Grown Diamond Guidance is that, to ensure confidence, consumers must receive complete and unambiguous information about what they are buying, so that they can make consciously informed purchasing decisions. This requires clear and accurate information that the diamonds were created industrially, and not through geological processes, as is the case with natural diamonds.
The laboratory-grown diamond sector and natural diamond sector operate according to different business models, with the relationship between color, clarity and weight, on the one side, and rarity on the other, which exists with natural diamonds, not relevant with laboratory-grown diamonds, where color, clarity and weight are subject to the control of the laboratory-grown diamond manufacturer. Rarity is a critical factor in setting the price of a natural diamond, and in deciding its long-term value trajectory.
Divided into various sections, the guidance document outlines clear principles for describing laboratory-grown diamonds, as well as due diligence measures that should be followed by companies handling such merchandise and events at which they are displayed, like trade shows. It furthermore recommends the manner in which loose laboratory-grown diamonds or jewelry set with laboratory-grown diamonds should be disclosed on sales invoices and consignment documents. The document also addresses the subject of laboratory-grown diamond detection technology.
A key section of the document relates to the services provided by gem labs to the laboratory-grown diamond sector. It contends that the confidence of consumers will be served by their receiving an accurate and objective report of the characteristics of the laboratory-grown stone that they are buying, but, since these are unrelated to rarity, care should be taken that the report itself does not infer a similarity between a laboratory-grown diamond and a natural diamond. The report, therefore, is referred to as “Laboratory-Grown Diamond Product Specification,” and not a grading report.
Since a manufactured product is involved, the guidance document recommends that Laboratory-Grown Diamond Product Specification reports include other information that is not provided on standard natural diamond grading reports. This includes the name of the manufacturer, the production batch, the country of manufacture, the method of manufacture (HPHT or CVD), and information about treatments and processes to which the stone was subject after its original manufacture.
The guidance document recommends that, if the 4Cs are used by a laboratory to describe the physical characteristics of laboratory-grown diamonds, the letters “LG” should be placed as a prefix before the 2Cs of color and clarity. Certain countries require that OIML/Legal Units of Measurement be used to describe the weight of laboratory-grown diamonds, and here the guidance document recommends that the report notes both the stone’s standard carat weight and its weight in grams.
The Laboratory-Grown Diamond Guidance document can be downloaded in PDF format here.
Only officers and members of CIBJO-affiliated national associations and representatives of CIBJO commercial members are eligible to download and review the Laboratory-Grown Diamond Guidance. Therefore, the document is password protected. To obtain the password, contact the association to which you are connected, or the commercial member that you represent. A full list of CIBJO national associations and commercial members is available here.
Comments about the reviewed document should be sent by email to the CIBJO Secretariat at email@example.com.
Submitted comments must include the name of the person submitting them, and the name of the CIBJO national association member or the CIBJO commercial member to which they belong or they represent.
All comments should be submitted no later than Monday, November 1, 2020.
Learn more about CIBJO, the international jewelry confederation of national trade organizations at www.cibjo.org.