Assay Office Birmingham’s AnchorCert Gem Lab has welcomed the recent publication of an ISO Standard entitled Consumer Confidence in the Diamond Industry.
Published on July 1 2015, ISO Standard 18323:2015 is a simple and concise document intended to help the consumer understand the different choices available to them.
The Standard recognises that the jewellery industry relies upon consumer confidence and the document is “specifically designed to be understood by the consumer” as it seeks to “address the potential for confusion by setting out clear and accurate guidelines on accepted nomenclature”.
Based on existing industry self-regulation, the definitions in the standard are pitched at exactly the right level for the consumer, avoiding deeply technical terminology which is neither appealing nor comprehensive, but instead clearly defining the descriptions to be used when talking about diamonds. These include simple definitions of colour, cut and clarity, as well as treated diamonds and synthetic diamonds, which may also be described as laboratory-grown or laboratory-created diamonds, composite stones and much more.
For many in the industry, there is nothing startling in the Standard; the terminology required is already used in established gemmological laboratories such as AnchorCert Gem Lab, which works to transparent international standards.
From its headquarters in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, AnchorCert Gem Lab conducts reports on behalf of consumers and retailers to identify diamond treatments and synthetic and laboratory grown diamonds. The nomenclature used by AnchorCert Gem Lab is inline with those recommended by the new ISO Standard. As with all ISO Standards, this is not a mandatory requirement but it does lay down a benchmark for the whole industry to work to.
The challenge now is to encourage the whole supply chain to appreciate the need for and benefits of this document and to encourage its implementation.
Clara Goodfellow, operations director for Assay Office Birmingham, parent organisation of AnchorCert Gem Lab, says: “This is a very clear standard which underpins the work of several different organisations that have been working to standardise nomenclature. It is a major step forward. Transparency and customer confidence is key, and this standard will be a great help in achieving a more consistent message across the supply chain.”
The ISO Standard can be downloaded from www.iso.org for CHF 58 (approx. £39).