If friends know you’re shopping for diamond jewelry, they may say, “Remember the 4Cs: color, cut, clarity and carat.” Here are three more important letters for jewelry shoppers: F-T-C. The FTC enforces laws against false advertising and created the Jewelry Guides, which show jewelry businesses how to avoid making deceptive claims. FTC staff recently looked through diamond jewelry ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and other sites to find out what shoppers are seeing. They found eight businesses using ads that might be deceptive, or not in line with the Jewelry Guides, and sent warning letters that urge the businesses to review their advertising, make any necessary revisions, and tell the FTC what they’ve done to address the concerns.
The Jewelry Guides say a seller should use words that correctly describe a precious stone, so shoppers know what they are buying. Some of the ads reviewed by FTC staff may have suggested that jewelry made one way was actually made another way, including suggestions that a diamond was taken from a mine when it was really made in a lab. And some businesses only put information about how a stone was really made on a “diamond education” webpage, rather than in or near an ad where shoppers were more likely to see it.
Before you buy, compare quality, price, and service from several businesses. To check on a business, enter its name and the words “complaint” or “review” in a search engine. Get to know common phrases like natural, lab-created, or imitation. Those stones have different values and different qualities, and need different care. If you have a problem with jewelry you purchased, try to resolve it with the jeweler first. If you think you were misled by an ad for jewelry, please report that to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint.