Federal Trade Commission Revising Jewelry Guides

The Federal Trade Commission plans to revise the widely used and consulted Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries in 2012, the agency announced.

This would mark the Guides’ first major overhaul since 1996.

Jewelers Vigilance Committee executive director Cecilia Gardner predicts the revision process will be long and involved.

“It could take years, it did last time,” she says.  “They open it up for a period of comments, and then they take those comments under advisement. There is always a lot of back and forth.”

Among the issues that could be looked at, Gardner says: further clarification on what constitutes a synthetic diamond versus a simulant; new standards for alternative metals; and rules governing new treatments.

JVC will be submitting its own suggestions on behalf of the industry, and Gardner says her group is open to input from other industry members.

“We’ll be organizing a formal way to do that,” Gardner adds.

There is always the possibility that the FTC could eliminate the Guides entirely, Gardner says.

“They have been eliminating guides in other industries,” she says. “But in my contact with the FTC, they understand the importance of the Guides to this industry. We treat the Guides in a way that almost no other industry treats [them].”

While the Guides as a whole haven’t been looked at in more than a decade, they have been amended several times, most recently with new provisions on platinum.