Ebay Changes “Diamond” Rules

Via Ebay watch, we see that ebay has tightened its rules on what sellers can call “synthetic diamonds”:

Sellers can now only use the word “diamond” in jewelry listings only to describe a natural mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon, crystallized in the isometric system. …

[It then spells out rules for real “synthetic diamonds” — if that’s a term – noting how the seller must use qualifying words like “synthetic,” “lab-created,” “man-made,” etc. Standard stuff.]
 
Additionally, Cubic Zirconium stones can use the word “diamond” only if the word is immediately preceded or followed by the words simulated or imitation, spelled out in full.

To list any imitation diamond stone that does not fall into one of the descriptions above, sellers may use the word “diamond” in the item title or description only if the word is immediately preceded or followed by the words “simulated” or “imitation”, spelled out in full. Sellers must also include in the item description in equal visibility to any other wording the composition of the item. Examples include “plastic,” “glass,” “Moissanite,” “rhinestone,” “Strontium Titanate,” “quartz,” and so on. These items may only be listed in categories especially designated for them (like Moissanite) or in Other categories, not in the Diamond categories.

This is an excellent move, in compliance with the FTC’s Jewelry Guides, although it definitely falls into the category of “why didn’t they do this sooner,” since it’s many ripped-off consumers too late (I quote one such customer here.) Even today, a simple search for synthetic diamonds comes up with this listing for a “synthetic diamond tennis bracelet,” which is also listed under “cubic zirconia.” 

(On an ebay forum, a person from its Jewelry and Watch Dept. says:  “As for the amount of CZ diamond listings without qualifiers, we have made progress working with and in some cases suspending sellers who continue to violate the policy. But we are not there yet. We will be. But we agree that there is still work to be done.”)

Anyway, now that ebay is finally changing their rules, I call on google’s adwords to do the same thing. Google “synthetic diamonds” and you get ads for Diamond Nexus Labs, which sells simulants, as well as a listing for “moissanite diamonds.” As most of you know, something is either “moissanite” or “diamond.”  It can’t be a “moissanite diamond.” 

The irony here is that these companies often position their stones as the “ethical alternative” to mined diamonds. It’s a very strange definition of “ethics” that includes blatantly misleading your customers. 

Some interesting discussions regarding this change here.

JCK News Director