Federal Trade Commission Issues
Decision in Response to Trade
Associations’ Petition on the Use
of the Word “Cultured” to Describe
Laboratory Created Gemstones

Jewelry Marketers Using the Term “Cultured”
Must Now Clarify the Term with
“Laboratory Created”, “Laboratory Grown
“[Manufacturer-Name] Created” or “Synthetic”

New York City — July 22, 2008 — Cecilia L. Gardner, President and CEO and General Counsel announced today the Federal Trade Commission’s decision in response to the coalition of trade associations’ petition regarding the use of the word “cultured” to describe laboratory created gemstones.

In its response, the FTC stated that although the use of the word “cultured” to describe man made gemstones is not in itself deceptive, if a marketer were to use that term, it would be required to also use the term “laboratory created,” “laboratory grown” “[manufacturer-name] created” or “synthetic.”

Click here for the FTC Release and further information.

Cecilia Gardner stated: “The trade associations that signed the petition (including JVC, MJSA, AGTA, JA, CIBJO, the Cultured Pearl Association, AGS, DCA, WFDB and DMIA) universally took the position that the term “cultured” ought to be added to the list of terms that are deceptive and unfair when describing synthetic gemstones.  The FTC agreed with us that the use of the word “cultured” alone to describe synthetic gemstones would be insufficient to protect consumers.  Their ruling  that marketers be required to include one of the four clear terms already obligatory under the Guides that disclose the true nature of the product will go far to protect against consumer deception.”

Jewelers Vigilance Committee, founded in 1917, is a not-for-profit legal trade association fulfilling its mission to maintain the jewelry industry’s highest ethical standards. JVC offers dispute mediation and arbitration services for trade and consumers, compliance monitoring and precious metals testing, among many other services. JVC, long considered the industry’s guardian of ethics and integrity, is a resource for the entire jewelry industry and its customers as well as an industry representative before government agencies, media and adjunct fields. For more information visit: www.jvclegal.org.

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