NAJ Secures Green Light from UK Trading Standards for Diamond Terminology Guideline

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The National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) has successfully raised the Diamond Terminology Guideline – a globally-recognised document on diamond nomenclature – to the status of Primary Authority Advice which is assured and recognised by Trading Standards in the UK market.

The NAJ utilised its existing Primary Authority Partnership with Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards to receive the ‘Assured Advice’ status and strengthen the Diamond Terminology Guideline. The result is an agreed-upon document that is aligned with wider consumer protection protocol and legislation.

NAJ chair, Gary Wroe, says: “We are building up an enforcement structure in the UK market that is not only recognised by trade bodies and Trading Standards, but leading diamond industry groups worldwide. This is a positive step in streamlining terminology that will further strengthen consumer confidence in NAJ retailers and protect those operating honestly.”

Transforming the Diamond Terminology Guideline into Trading Standards ‘Assured Advice’ is one of many voluntary steps being taken by the NAJ to protect consumers from confusing terminology. The Assured Advice is further piece of mind for consumers when searching the NAJ’s Find a Jeweller membership directory, to find a local or specialist jeweller.

The ‘Assured Advice’ is designed to benefit consumers and protect NAJ Members, rather than prosecute those who do not follow the rules. Those ignoring the Diamond Terminology Guideline could be deemed to be in breach of consumer protection laws if a customer feels they have been mis-sold or misguided. The document could also be a useful tool in a court of law.

Those complying with the Trading Standards ‘Assured Advice’ can be confident that other trading standards and consumer protection bodies will uphold and recognise the Diamond Terminology Guidelines as accurate, therefore protecting them against the risk of enforcement action.

This method of strengthening the Diamond Terminology Guideline is relatively unique to the UK market, and has been looked upon favourably by the international diamond organisations, as has the consumer-friendly Diamond Terminology video on NAJ’s ‘buying diamonds’ advice webpage.

CIBJO President, Gaetano Cavalieri, says: “We operate in an industry where success in business is absolutely predicated on consumer confidence, and that is enriched when clear and standard language is used, as is the case with the Diamond Terminology Guideline. NAJ’s successful collaboration with the British Trading Standards authorities, having the guidelines recognized as Assured Advice, is an inspired effort and should be emulated worldwide.”

The Diamond Terminology Guideline was developed in 2018 as a collaborative effort between the NAJ and eight diamond industry organisations, including the Natural Diamond Council (NDC), CIBJO – The World Jewellery Confederation, the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), The Israel Diamond Institute (IDI), the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA), the World Diamond Council (WDC) and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB).

The one-page Guideline was produced to encourage full, fair and effective use of clear and accessible terminology for diamonds, laboratory-grown diamonds and diamond simulants by all sector bodies, organisations and traders.

Wroe continues: “We have seen other global markets suffer from a lack of agreed-upon terms to describe natural diamonds, laboratory-grown diamonds and diamond simulants. Rather than waiting for this to happen in the UK, we decided to act swiftly and efficiently by working with Trading Standards. They immediately took our goals seriously and we can now move forward in 2020 with clear and more enforceable terminology.”

The NAJ will now write to its retail members to reiterate the Diamond Terminology Guideline. Thought leaders, business owners and managers in the UK jewellery industry are encouraged to share the Diamond Terminology Guideline with their colleagues in a bid to strengthen best practice principles nationwide.

“Clear and accessible diamond terminology is fundamental for protecting consumer rights. Consumers have a right to know the nature of the product they are purchasing, and the Diamond Terminology Guideline present a simple way to label natural diamonds, synthetic diamonds and diamond simulants,” said Raluca Anghel, Head of External Affairs and Industry Relations, Natural Diamonds Council.

“Building on the UK initiative and the successful collaboration of the NAJ with the British Trading Standards authorities, it is also important to align terminology across countries as consumers shop in an increasingly global market.”  

To download the Diamond Terminology Guideline ‘Assured Advice’, or to watch the NAJ Diamond Terminology Guideline video, please click here.

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