New FTC Guides to Look at Lead-Glass-Filled Rubies, Synthetic Diamonds, Dyed Pearls

Issues such as lead-filled rubies, synthetic diamonds, dyed pearls, and metal alloys will likely dominate the Federal Trade Commission’s upcoming revision of its Guides for the Jewelry Industry, according to the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.

The FTC recently asked industry members to submit comments about those topics, according to JVC president and CEO Cecilia Gardner.

Among the topics the FTC seems to be focusing on:

Lead-glass–filled rubies: “The FTC has asked a series of very targeted questions regarding glass-filled rubies,” Gardner says. “It is the longest series of questions. They are asking about consumer perceptions about these gemstones, how to identify and describe these things, and whether they should even be considered gemstones at all.”  

Synthetic diamonds: In 2008, the FTC ruled that lab-grown diamonds could be labeled as cultured, provided another approved word was also included. By asking for comments, the FTC is indicating it plans to revisit this question, Gardner says. 

– Pearls: The FTC will likely look at whether to the word cultured can be used to describe freshwater pearls, and whether certain treatments, such as dying, must be disclosed. 

– Alloys: The FTC is also looking at how to describe platinum alloys.

Some of the questions can be seen here.

Gardner notes the revision’s scope is not limited to those issues.

“There are many other things they may look at,” she says. “They also invite comment on other issues as well.”

The deadline for comments is Aug. 27. JVC encourages industry members to share their views on these topics by sending an email to: Sara Yood, JVC assistant general counsel, at sara@jvclegal.org. Comments can also be sent directly to the FTC.