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Reviewing disclosure of gemstone treatments


We are reviewing our disclosure of gemstone treatments to our
customers. Were looking at the FTC guidelines and what the AGTA
recommends. We don’t want to cause people concern or alarm by
unnecessarily by disclosing too much. If we overload them with
it may look like we are the only ones using these
"treated stones". When in reality the vast majority of color is
treated in some way. If it’s a permanent and stable treatment, how
much detail do you go into? But we also want to be honest and
responsible, making sure our customers understand what they are

What do you do?

Unfortunately (in my book) there is a discrepancy between what the
FTC requires and what should be disclosed. Details of exactly what
the FTC requires are available from the JVC (although I no longer
agree with some of their interpretations either anymore). The AGTA
pretty clearly says that all treatments should be disclosed. Period.
And that is pretty much what I believe and what I do. I have NEVER
lost a sale from complete and full disclosure of all gemstone
treatments. NEVER. No customer has ever been alarmed or concerned
when the issue is presented clearly and fully to them.

The permanence or stability of treatments alone is not revelant
according to the FTC. There are other factors that all have to be
considered together (again see the JVC interpretations for clear
definitions). Being honest, and responsible, and saving yourselves
from possible litigation should mean the complete, full disclosure
of every gem material you sell. If you can’t figure out how to
disclose without losing sales, then sell only natural stones. My
personal advice is to read the AGTA guidelines and stick to them.
Even better, join the AGTA. Then you’re obligated to disclose and the
customers will be more comfortable with the fact that you are.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC