By Ashley Bailey
, Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) in association with 10 other jewelry industry associations filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to amend the FTC Guidelines for the Jewelry, Precious Metals and Pewter Industries to add the term “cultured” to the list of unfair or deceptive terms when used in conjunction with jewelry industry products.
The primary reason behind this request is so consumers will not be deceived when the term “cultured” is used in conjunction with products other than pearls: For instance, use of the term “cultured diamond” in association with a with a gemstone grown naturally with human intervention.
Cecilia L. Gardner, president, CEO and general counsel of JVC said,“The jewelry guidelines provide explicit standards for trade practices in the jewelry industry. Given the widespread confusion and misconception found among consumers when asked about the meaning of 'cultured' when applied to products other than pearl, we felt it was important to ask the FTC to amend the Guides. The guides should address the important issue of full disclosure of the true nature of laboratory created jewelry products.“
The American Gem Society, American Gem Trade Association, The World Jewellery Confederation, Cultured Pearl Association, Diamond Council of America, Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association of America, International Diamond Manufacturers Association, Jewelers of America, Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America, and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses all support this initiative.
The Consumer Enforcement Division of the FTC will consider the contents of the petition in order to determine if there is sufficient grounds to issue a Federal Register notice which could solicit comments from the trade on whether the Guides should be amended.