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‘Diamond’ & ‘Gemstone’ Imply Natural Stones, Says Global Guideline

Nine of the world’s leading diamond industry organisations (AWDC, CIBJO, DPA, GJEPC, IDI, IDMA, USJC, WDC and WFDB) have developed the present guideline to encourage full, fair and effective use of a clear and accessible terminology for diamonds, synthetics diamonds and imitations of diamonds by all sector bodies, organisations and traders.

In a clear statement of definitions, the guideline says:

  • A diamond is a mineral created by nature; a ‘diamond’ always means a natural diamond.
  • A gemstone is a mineral of natural origin that is used in jewellery for reasons of combined beauty, rareness and intrinsic value.

In its terminology recommendations, the guideline says the terms ‘synthetic’, ‘laboratory-grown’ or ‘laboratory-created’ should be used. It cautions against the use of abbreviations such as ‘lab-grown’ and ‘lab-created’ while completely proscribing the use of terms such as ‘cultured diamonds’ and ‘cultivated diamonds’ as ‘cultured’ and ‘cultivated’ refer exclusively to organic/biogenic products.

It also says the terms ‘real’, ‘genuine’, ‘precious’, ‘authentic' and ‘natural’ should not be used as they apply exclusively to natural minerals and gemstones.

In its recommendations, the guideline says the term ‘diamond’ should be used without a qualifier when referring to natural diamonds. However, if differentiation from synthetic diamonds is required, use the term “natural diamonds” as term of equivalent meaning.

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. It is built on two internationally accepted standards: the ISO 18323 Standard ("Jewellery - Consumer confidence in the diamond industry") and the CIBJO Diamond Blue Book.

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