JCK/ Rob Bates/ July 25, 2018

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released the final revision to its widely watched Jewelry Guides, with a bevy of changes that impose new rules on how the trade can describe flux-grown colored stones, pearl treatments, and gem varietals. It also loosens existing standards on lab-grown diamonds and metal alloys.

The changes, approved unanimously by the five-member commission, cap a six-year process of revamping the much-talked-about standards for marketing jewelry and gems. This revision marks the Guides’ first major overhaul in 22 years.

Among the noteworthy changes enacted by the FTC:

There are new requirements for describing “composite” gemstones

Marketers are now warned not to use an unqualified gemstone name like ruby when selling a flux-grown or composite product. It also advises against using the unqualified terms composite[gemstone name], hybrid [gemstone name], or manufactured [gemstone name] unless the description specifies that the composite stone requires special care.

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