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Jewelers of America Goes to Washington, Supports Sellers of Natural Diamonds

Trade association fights to restrict certain language in marketing of synthetic diamonds.

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Jewelers of America has ramped up advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., holding meetings with Congressional leaders to support the jewelry industry’s recommendations to the Federal Trade Commission on its proposed changes to the Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries, the trade association said in a release.

The association is also planning a two-day fly-in to D.C. this June – its sixth annual advocacy trip to Capitol Hill with a delegation of jewelers.

In mid-April, JA President and CEO David J. Bonaparte convened with representatives on House and Senate Committees that oversee the FTC. Bonaparte met with Rep. John Shimkus, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; and key staff from the office of Sen. Jerry Moran, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Consumer Protection and Product Safety Subcommittee.

Bonaparte’s meetings focused on the FTC’s proposal to allow synthetic diamond producers to use the term “cultured” to describe synthetic diamonds, as long as qualifying language (for example “laboratory-created,” “laboratory-grown,” “synthetic”) immediately accompanies the term. JA’s position is that use of the term “cultured” is confusing, since consumers believe the word “cultured” means or implies “natural.”

“Use of the word ‘cultured’ in conjunction with a manufactured diamond is deceptive,” Bonaparte says. “It implies that synthetic diamonds are created in a natural environment, similar to cultured pearls.”

JA’s position and the meetings reinforce the stance taken by an industry coalition – led by the Jewelers Vigilance Committee – that is gathering research and sharing industry input with the FTC. JA is actively involved in the coalition.

You can check out the legislative and regulatory issues Jewelers of America is tracking at www.jewelers.org.

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