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Diamond industry leaders unite for new Diamond Terminology Guideline


Leading diamond industry groups have released a jointly developed ‘Diamond Terminology Guideline’ to encourage use of a clear and accessible terminology for diamonds, synthetic diamonds and imitation diamonds.

The nine organisations that agreed the guidelines are the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI), the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA), the United States Jewelry Council (USJC), the World Diamond Council (WDC), and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB).

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While not legally binding, the Diamond Terminology Guideline is designed to serve as a reference document when referring to or describing diamonds, synthetic diamonds and imitations of diamonds. It is built on two internationally accepted standards: the ISO 18323 Standard (‘Jewellery - Consumer confidence in the diamond industry’) and the CIBJO Diamond Blue Book.

Moving forward, it is hoped that the clear, concise and accessible terminology ‘rules’ will provide clarity for traders, diamond retailers and other stakeholders when speaking to their customers and marketing their products.

Diamond industry leaders unite for new Diamond Terminology Guideline 

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“Protecting consumer confidence is of paramount importance to the long-term success of our industry," said CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri. "The Diamond Terminology Guideline is an important tool in achieving this, by helping standardise the terminology used to clearly distinguish between diamonds and synthetic diamonds, in all communications, among ourselves and with our customers.”

Cavalieri continues: “The Diamond Terminology Guideline is an important complement to the CIBJO Blue Book, with which it is fully consistent. It provides for easy and simple reference and will be distributed broadly within the industry. The accessible language, the succinct format and the broad support from leading industry organisations is intended to stimulate widespread implementation within trade and at the retail level.”

Continue reading to discover the new guide…


  • A diamond is a mineral created by nature; a ‘diamond’ always means a natural diamond.
  • A synthetic diamond is an artificial product that has essentially the same physical characteristics as a diamond.
  • An imitation diamond, also named a diamond simulant, is an artificial product that imitates the appearance of diamonds without having their chemical composition, physical properties or structure.
  • A gemstone is a mineral of natural origin that is used in jewellery for reasons of combined beauty, rareness and intrinsic value.

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When referring to synthetic diamonds:

  • Use one of the following authorised qualifiers when referring to synthetic diamonds: ‘synthetic’, ‘laboratory-grown’ or ‘laboratory-created’.
  • Do not use abbreviations such as ‘lab-grown’ and ‘lab-created’.
  • Do not use the following terms: ‘cultured diamonds’ and ‘cultivated diamonds’ as ‘cultured’ and ‘cultivated’ refer exclusively to organic/biogenic products.
  • Do not use the following terms: ‘real’, ‘genuine’, ‘precious’, ‘authentic’ and ‘natural’ as those apply exclusively to natural minerals and gemstones.


  • A diamond is natural by definition. Therefore, use the word ‘diamond’ without a qualifier when referring to a diamond.
  • If differentiation from synthetic diamonds is required, use the term ‘natural diamonds’ as term of equivalent meaning.
  • Do not use the following confusing expressions: ‘natural treated diamonds’ and ‘treated natural diamonds’. Instead, simply use ‘treated diamonds’.

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CARAT+ is The World’s Premier Diamond Event, covering the full spectrum of the diamond and diamond jewellery trades. The show specialises in four sectors: loose diamonds, branded diamond jewellery, non-branded diamond jewellery and services for the diamond jewellery industry.

Taking place in Hall 1 and Hall 4 of the Antwerp Expo on 6, 7 and 8 May, entry to the show is restricted exclusively to industry professionals, including diamond and jewellery wholesalers and manufacturers from around the world, and jewellery retailers from across Europe and the wider world.

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