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Kay Says Lab-Created Earrings “May Include Natural Diamonds”


The day has finally come—a lab-grown diamond piece is being sold that notes that it may contain natural diamonds.

A Kay Outlet listing for ¼ ct. t.w. lab-created diamond earrings contains the note: “*Due to supply constraints, these earrings may include natural diamonds.”

The owner of Kay, Signet Jewelers, did not return a request for comment. However, Sara Yood, deputy general counsel of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), says the listing is simple best practice.

“In my view this disclosure is required here,” she says. “The product is being advertised as laboratory-grown.… That the diamonds used may not, in fact, be laboratory-grown seems material to me, so disclosing that some may be natural is certainly required under the [Federal Trade Commission Jewelry] Guides.”

While lab-grown companies have long used natural melee as side stones or in their pieces, some have not been as up front about it as Signet is. To see the information displayed in the same size type as the product description meets any criterion for “clear and conspicuous disclosure.”

The listing was first published on LinkedIn by Amish Shah, founder and CEO of ALTR Created Diamonds.

“The shortage of lab-grown diamonds in certain sizes is leading to such instances of mixing [in natural diamonds],” Shah says. “More retailers are asking their suppliers to ensure that the lab-grown diamond jewelry they are supplied has no earth-mined diamonds mixed into their product.”

Which brings up a point I’ve heard often from lab-grown sellers: While there are many machines that help sort lab-grown from natural, there isn’t yet a machine (to my knowledge) that does the opposite. But there’s probably a need for one. Everyone has to know what they’re selling—and buying.

[UPDATE: I am reliably told that some of the machines currently on the market can do this; see Project Assure for more info.]

It may also be a challenge for the lab-grown industry if a company like Signet, which presumably has the biggest buying budget in the business, can’t source small lab-grown diamonds. Yes, there are supply chain issues, given how many of the smaller stones come from China. But manufacturers say that small lab-growns are no longer profitable to produce. That could impede what that sector has to offer going forward.

Photo: Getty Images

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By: Rob Bates

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