16 CFR Part 23, Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries; Project No. G711001
Regarding acceptable nomenclature for synthetic diamonds, I urge the FTC to allow the term "cultured diamond" to be allowed. Based upon over two decades of jewelry retail experience, in which I sold jewelry to customers, I am sure that consumers will understand that a "cultured diamond" is not a naturally occurring diamond. Jewelry consumers have been familiar with the term 'cultured' for nearly a century, since Mikimoto Kokichi introduced the cultured pearl into the jewelry industry in the 1920s. In much the same way, the synthetic "cultured diamond" will play the same role for diamond customers as Mikimoto's cultured pearls did so for pearl customers. Synthetic diamonds have the potential to bring larger diamonds to more consumers than naturally occurring diamonds do today. The entrenched attitudes of some individuals in the jewelry industry has led to a misguided evaluation of synthetic diamonds within some trade groups. These negative feelings have led to a resistance against the term "cultured diamond" not on the merits of consumer understanding (that these are not naturally occurring diamonds), but rather as part of a concerted attempt by these entrenched groups to mislead consumers as to the composition of synthetic diamonds. As the surface layers of a cultured pearl are composed of the same substance as a naturally occurring pearl (nacre), so a synthetic diamond is composed of the same substance as a naturally occurring diamond: diamond. The problem for the entrenched members of the industry is not that the term "cultured" is inaccurate or inapplicable; it is that the term "cultured" is extremely accurate and applicable. I sincerely hope the FTC will see the importance of allowing the use of "cultured diamond" to help jewelry customers to understand synthetic diamonds as these diamonds become a greater proportion of the diamonds offered in the jewelry industry in the decades to come. Thank you for reading my comment.