When talking about diamonds, words matter. In 2018, the FTC released new advertising guidelines outlining the correct disclosure terms for diamonds and laboratory grown diamonds, as well as the requirements for making eco-claims in marketing materials. Because this was the first update on this topic in 22 years, we know many people in the industry remain unclear on what’s acceptable to the FTC and what isn’t.
As you engage with your customers online, in-store and via advertising, it’s important to bear in mind the approved terminology to ensure accurate, consistent messaging in all interactions.
For ease, we’ve outlined the requirements below:
- The word ‘diamond’ alone always means a natural diamond
- You can use the words real, natural, genuine and precious only in conjunction with a natural diamond from the earth – these descriptors cannot be used with a lab-grown diamond
- Three modifiers approved by the FTC for the description of lab-grown diamonds are: laboratory grown, laboratory created, or (manufacturer’s name) created. ‘Synthetic’ is also acceptable to the FTC
- Man-made, cultured, and above-ground are not acceptable modifiers when used alone
- Environmental claims must be substantiated. In order to call a diamond eco-friendly, green or carbon neutral, there must be publicly available data to support these claims
- The words real, natural, genuine and precious can only be used for natural stones from the earth
The role of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee is to serve the industry’s legal needs. We have read the fine print and created this short video which breaks down what you need to know to advertise diamonds the right way and keep your business thriving. For more information on jewelry terminology in advertising, download our free guide at: https://jvclegal.org/understanding-the-ftc-guidelines/