Ministry of the Economy and Finance issues its decision on the “synthetic diamond” designation

Isabelle Hossenlopp

Isabelle Hossenlopp

On October 26, 2023, the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty re-examined Decree N° 2002-65 of  January 14, 2002 (Article 4) at the request of an operator involved in the synthetic diamond trade. The operator wanted to see a change in the terminology applied to synthetic diamonds.

The decision was taken not to amend the decree, to the satisfaction of the Collectif Diamant, which did not approve this request. As a reminder, the Collectif Diamant is made up of several entities, the Natural Diamond Council, the UFBJOP, Francéclat, the Laboratoire Français de Gemmologie (LFG) and the Union de la Bijouterie Horlogerie (UBH).

Decree N°2002-65 unambiguously states that the word diamond alone always refers to a natural diamond. In France, only two terms may be used to designate a synthetic diamond: “diamant synthétique” and “diamant de synthèse”. According to the decree, the term “synthetic” must be used if the stone is “wholly or partly man-made”. The term “diamant de laboratoire” (lab-grown) may only be used abroad.

The Collectif Diamant believes that maintaining the decree protects consumers and respects the rules around transparency. In 2020, a survey carried out by OpinionWay highlighted the risks of the various diamond designations becoming confusing, confirming that clear, legible semantics that everyone understands are essential if consumers are to be able to buy diamonds with complete transparency. “We are fortunate in France to have a law that is the envy of the world,” says Mina El Hadraoui, France Director of the Natural Diamond Council and a member of the Collectif Diamant. 

Below is a statement from the UFBJOP

Several months ago, the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), in conjunction with the Directorate-General for Enterprise (DGE) and the Directorate-General for Customs and Excise (DGDDI), began consulting the industry on a possible revision of Decree N°2002-65 of January 14, 2002 (article 4) on trade in gemstones and pearls. The aim of this consultation was to incorporate the possibility of using the terminology “lab-grown diamond”, following a request from an operator involved in the synthetic diamond trade.

The UFBJOP took part in the consultation and, since July 2022, has been engaged in an awareness-raising campaign with the public authorities alongside the UBH and Francéclat, including meetings with elected representatives, members of ministerial cabinets and representatives of the departments of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, in order to share the position of the sector, whose sole objective is to respect the rules around transparency and consumer safety.

On October 26, 2023, the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty announced its decision not to amend Decree N°2002-65. Executive President of the UFBJOP Bernadette Pinet-Cuoq welcomed this decision, which will help to “guarantee clear and comprehensible information for consumers that is both unambiguous and in keeping with the lexical field of the French language.


Photo Natural Diamond Council