JVC Warns About Irradiated Diamonds



Many retailers currently selling and
handling irradiated diamonds could unknowingly be breaking the law, Jewelers
Vigilance Committee executive director Cecilia Gardner tells JCK.

As with irradiated topaz, irradiated diamonds
can only be imported into the United States by entities licensed by the U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission. Once the stones
have been released into the marketplace by such a licensed entity, they may be
freely traded. 

“Some people may be misinformed as to whether
or not irradiated gemstones fall under the NRC provisions,” Gardner says. “They
do.”

The JVC recommends that all retailers and
dealers who sell irradiated gemstones, including diamonds, get warranties from
their suppliers that assure full compliance with all licensing requirements.

“More than one vendor has been communicating
information that, because there is no residual irradiation, diamonds do not to
be covered to be any licensing by the NRC,” she said. “That is incorrect.”

In 2007, the NRC took an increased interest in irradiated blue topaz. Gardner says it’s possible that a similar crackdown on diamonds
is coming.

JVC notes that the level of radiation in the
irradiated stones is low and presents no health risk.  

For more information on NRC regulations and
irradiated gemstones, see the Essential
Guide to the U.S. Trade in Irradiated Gemstones
, issued jointly by JVC and the
American Gem Trade Association, available at jvclegal.org.