Many retailers currently selling andv 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.