The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has changed its definition of diamonds to expand its scope to include man-made diamonds. The previous definition stated, “A diamond is a natural mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon crystallized in the isometric system.” The commission explained that in 1956 only one type of diamond was on the market which was the natural stone. However, technological innovations have made it possible to produce stones which have the same properties – optical, physical as well as chemical, as the mined diamonds. As a result, the word “natural” has now been dropped from the new definition.
The FTC has further qualified the word “cultured” when describing man-made stones. Marketers must use words like “man-made”, “lab-grown” or “foundry” to avoid confusion about a diamond’s origins. Marketers are explicitly told to avoid the word “synthetic” as it would create confusion and lead consumers to believe it is an artificial diamond.
Reactions from organizations like the DPA is awaited. They’ve been advocating for a global standard wherein the word “diamond” on its own implied natural origin.