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After two years of petitioning by industry activists, the government has changed its FTC Guides to mandate the disclosure of laser-filled diamonds.
In November, 1998, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee requested mandated disclosure because a laser drilled diamond is worth less than a comparable non-drilled stone. The FTC ruled, therefore, that any treatment to gemstones that significantly affects the value of the stone must be disclosed.
"I am pleased that the FTC accepted our petition and revised the guides as the petition requested in relatively short order," said Cecilia Gardner, general counsel and executive director of the JVC. "The JVC will now undertake to inform the industry of their new obligations in this regard in line with the JVC mission to advocate compliance and educate the trade."
Along with laser drilling, the FTC concluded that disclosure of other treatments is required for all gemstones in each of the following circumstances:
- When the treatment is not permanent
- When the treatment requires special care
- When the treatment significantly affects the value of the stone.
These disclosures are mandated across every level of the trade, the FTC states.
"[Disclosure] is applicable to sellers at every level of trade and may be made at the point of sale or prior to sale, except where a jewelry product can be purchased without personally viewing the product, disclosure should be made in the solicitation for or description of the product," the FTC ruled.
According to the JVC, the FTC did not specifically list which treatments qualify under these terms and will, instead, work with the industry to identify to which treatments the mandate applies. Thanks to the third outlined circumstance—significant change in the value of the stone—LKI’s GE treatment should be among treatments that must be disclosed.