The FTC Releases New Jewelry Guides. Controversy Ensues.

In July, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released the final—if, at times, controversial—revision to its widely watched Jewelry Guides, with new dictates that could greatly affect the gold, pearl, and diamond trades. In one change long sought by the gem business, the FTC imposed new requirements for marketing “composite” gemstones. The Guides now warn manufacturers not to use unqualified gemstone names such as ruby when selling a flux-grown or composite product and to ensure any description specifies that the composite stone requires special care. “The problem with the lead glass–filled ruby products was no one was disclosing the ­special-care requirements,” says Sara Yood, senior counsel for the Jewelers Vigilance ­Committee (JVC) in New York City. “People would get the stones home and they would fall apart.” Similarly, the Guides require disclosure of pearl tre

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