The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) said it was amending the language in its grading reports for lab-grown diamonds in keeping with the guidelines issued by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As of July 1 this year, the reports will not use the term ‘synthetic’ and use the same language used to describe natural diamonds.
The GIA said that its new Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report will feature the same visual representation of the scales for colour, clarity and cut as its grading reports for natural diamonds. The updated reports will continue to use descriptive terms for colour and clarity — Near Colorless and Very Slightly Included — as shown on the scales.
The report will also include a QR code linking to GIA’s online Report Check service with more information about the growth processes of laboratory-grown diamonds. All detected clarity treatments will be disclosed. The comments section will include the statement: ‘This is a man-made diamond produced by CVD (Chemical Vapour Deposition) or HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) growth processes and may include post-growth treatments to change the colour’.
GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques commented, “Over the past few years, there has been an incredible advancement in the technology by which laboratory-grown diamonds are made. With the increased availability of man-made diamonds in commercial qualities, sizes and quantities, and with greater consumer awareness of and desire for this product, GIA is making these changes to align with the revised FTC Guides and changes in the market.”
She added, “Our mission is to ensure the public trust in gems and jewellery; these updated reports will give consumers buying laboratory-grown diamonds confidence in their purchases.”
A GIA press release noted that since the FTC revision in July 2018, the GIA has been reviewing and revising its education materials and procedures to ensure consistency in nomenclature across the Institute. It is conducting significant research, including consumer focus groups, to learn what the public expects from GIA reports for laboratory-grown diamonds.
These focus groups indicate that there is still confusion about the product and the differences between natural diamonds and laboratory-grown diamonds. There are also mixed views on what format GIA reporting on laboratory-grown diamonds should take and on whether grading reports are needed at all for man-made diamonds.
The press release added that as GIA’s mission is to protect the public trust in gems and jewellery, the institute will continue to survey consumers with the goal of providing them with information that clearly describes the product and informs them in making their purchase decisions.