CIBJO Responds on “Synthetic”

Udi Sheintal, president of the CIBJO Diamond Commission, very graciously took up my offer to respond to last week’s post criticizing its decision to affirm its position only endorsing the word “synthetic” for diamonds created in a laboratory. Here is his email, in its entirety: 

You say that “I am a bit confused about CIBJO’s recent decision to only endorse the word ’synthetic’ for lab-grown gems’


First, to set the record straight, CIBJO has never changed its original position on the nomenclature of gem quality synthetic diamonds.


In view of the ongoing discussions on the term “cultured diamonds,” in 2008, at the CIBJO Congress in Dubai, a vote was taken on a draft resolution to allow for synthetic diamonds also to be identified with other terms (laboratory-grown, laboratory-created, man-made etc.), with the exception to the term “cultured,” but the resolution was voted down with a large majority.


At our recent congress in Istanbul, no new vote was taken. However, since CIBJO members feel their constituency – retail jewelers — are the closest to the end consumer, and because they feel very strongly about their opposition to any descriptor but the term “synthetic,’ it was decided to form “an industry-wide working group that will work to arrive at consensus terminology, whereas CIBJO affirms its position that the term “synthetic” is the most appropriate descriptor for non-natural diamonds. The working group will confer with members from all areas of the jewellery trade, including consumer organisations.”


Headed by the undersigned, we will try and create a discussion platform that review and reevaluate the terminology that will serve the end-consumer best.


I hope this clarifies CIBJO’s endeavour and dissipates your confusion.

Best regards,
Udi Sheintal

JCK News Director