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Click here to read the earlier press release from July relating to the new ISO standard 18323: Jewellery – Consumer confidence in the diamond industry.

A new standard for diamond language. Image of diamond with the word language superimposed.The new legal standard for nomenclature is very clear and defines the acceptable language to be used by those involved in the buying and selling of diamonds, treated diamonds, synthetic diamonds, composite diamonds and imitations of diamonds.

This International Standard specifies a set of permitted descriptors for the diamond industry and is specifically designed to be understood by the consumer. The Standard also includes a series of definitions which aim to provide further clarity for traders and maintain consumer confidence in the diamond industry as a whole.

See below for a summary of some of the definitions and usage.



Formed completely by nature without human intervention during the formation


A mineral consisting essentially of carbon crystallised in the isometric (cubic) crystal system, with a hardness on the Mohs’ scale of 10, a specific gravity of approximately 3,52 and a refractive index of approximately 2,42, created by nature.

Note: The denomination “diamond” without further specification always implies “natural diamond”.

“Treated diamond”

A diamond having undergone any human intervention other than cutting, polishing, cleaning and setting, to permanently or non-permanently change its appearance, for example coating, fracture filling, heating, irradiation, laser drilling, HPHT treatment.

Note: A diamond having undergone a treatment shall be disclosed as a “treated diamond” and/or a specific reference to the particular treatment and the description shall be immediately apparent and unambiguous.

“Synthetic diamond, laboratory-grown diamond, laboratory-created diamond”

An artificial product that has essentially the same chemical composition, crystal structure and physical (including optical) properties as a diamond


  • The English terms laboratory-created diamond or laboratory-grown diamond may be used synonymously with synthetic diamond. Where there is no acceptable local direct translation of the English terms laboratory grown diamond or laboratory created diamond then only the translation of the term synthetic diamond should be used.
  • Abbreviations such as ‘lab grown’, ‘lab created’ ‘lab diamond’ or ‘syn diamond’ shall not be used.
  • The word ‘laboratory’ refers to the facility which produces the synthetic diamonds. This should not to be confused with a gemmological laboratory that is dedicated to the analysis, authentication, identification,classification (grading) of diamonds.
  • A synthetic diamond shall be disclosed and the description shall be immediately apparent and unambiguous. For the disclosure of a synthetic diamond, no abbreviation shall be used.
  • The qualifiers such as natural, real, genuine, precious, cultured, cultivated and gem shall not be used to describe any synthetic diamond.
  • Brand names and manufacturers names combined with the word diamond are insufficient disclosure when applied to synthetic diamonds.
  • Synthetic diamonds can have undergone a treatment.

This important piece of work should be understood by all our members and I urge you all to visit the ISO website to familiarise yourselves with the definitions;


This industry’s success is predicated on consumer confidence and this new standard provides a good tool to underpin that confidence; you can use the wording in your invoices and interactions with your customers to strengthen their confidence in you and our product, diamond.