Jeweler’s Ad Banned for Confusing Diamond Buyers

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Jeweler's Ad Banned for Confusing Diamond Buyers
Pic courtesy Ethica Diamonds

A British jeweler breached advertising codes by failing to distinguish between lab grown diamonds and non-diamond simulants.

Online retailer Ethica Diamonds, based in Cornwall, south-west England, sold lab growns from Diamond Foundry, together with an artificial, non-diamond product under the same banner. But it did make it sufficiently clear to customers which they were being.

The complaint was filed by Jason Foreman, ex-husband and business partner of Ethica director, Elaine Reffell. He and his new wife also run a jewelry company.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) considered and complaint and ordered Kinetique Ltd, trading as Ethica Diamonds, not to “describe products that did not have the same chemical composition as diamond as ‘diamond’ in isolation.”

It upheld a complaint that Ethica’s advertising was misleading and said consumers were likely to be confused about what they were actually buying.

The term “diamond alternative”, widely used to include zirconia and other simulants, was not sufficiently clear, it said, and should be further qualified with the word “simulant” or “imitation”.

The ASA said: “We told them (Ethica Diamonds) that when describing products that were laboratory grown or synthetic diamonds, the term “diamond” should always be accompanied by an identifier that made clear the nature of the product.

“For example where the product was an imitation diamond, “imitation diamond” or “diamond simulant” would be appropriate descriptive terms.

“Where the product was a laboratory-grown diamond such as the Diamond Foundry product, a term such as “laboratory-grown diamond”, or “synthetic diamond” should be used.

Ethica director, Elaine Reffell, who runs the business with daughter Emily, told Professional Jeweller: “My ex-husband of 24 years and his new wife are behind Diotima & Co and although we have changed our advertising to comply with the ASA’s ruling, we are unconvinced by the premise of this complaint.

“Throughout our website we talk about the merits of lab-grown diamonds. In our 11 years of trading, not a single customer has questioned whether we sell natural diamonds”.

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