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Decree No. 2002-65 of January 14, 2002 relating to the trade in gemstones and pearls


NOR: ECOC0100138D


Consolidated version as of March 27, 2018



The Prime Minister,


On the report of the Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industry and the Keeper of the Seals, Minister for Justice,


Having regard to Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 providing for an information procedure in the field of technical standards and regulations and rules relating to information society services, and in particular the notification No. 99/0233/F of May 10, 1999 to the Commission of the European Communities;


Having regard to the Consumer Code, in particular its Articles L. 214-1 and L. 214-2;


Considering the customs code, in particular its article 38;


The Council of State (finance section) heard,



Section 1


The provisions of this decree apply to the following materials and products:


- gemstones formed in natural deposits;


- synthetic stones, artificial stones and imitation gemstones;


- organic materials of plant or animal origin, traditionally used in jewelry;


- fine pearls;


- cultured pearls;


- imitation fine pearls and cultured pearls,


whatever their origin, provenance and use for which they are intended.



Section 2


Is supplemented by the mention “treated” or by the indication of the treatment, subject to the exceptions provided for in article 3 below, the name of the gemstones, organic materials, cultured pearls and fine pearls which have undergone, according to the case, a treatment by irradiation, by laser, by dye, by surface diffusion, by filling, possibly as a residue of a heat treatment, of colorless foreign matter solidified in the external cavities which present breaks in reflection visible at magnifying glass 10 times, or by any other laboratory method altering their appearance, color or purity.


Section 3


The affixing of the mention “treated” or the indication of the treatment is not compulsory for gemstones, organic materials, fine pearls and cultured pearls having undergone the following traditional lapidary practices:


- impregnation with a fluid colorless substance;


- a heat treatment, provided that any surface heating residues do not cause a break in reflection visible under a 10x magnifying glass;


- whitening without the addition of coloring products or varnish.


Section 4


The following qualifiers respectively complete the denomination of the materials and products mentioned below:


- “reconstituted” for stones obtained by partial fusion, by agglomeration or sintering of natural materials to form a coherent whole;


- “composite” for stones which are crystallized or amorphous bodies composed of two or more parts assembled not by nature but by gluing or by any other process. Their components are either natural stones, or synthetic stones, or chemicals;


- “synthetic” for stones which are crystallized or recrystallized products whose manufacture caused totally or partially by man has been obtained by various processes, whatever they may be, and whose physical, chemical properties and crystalline structure correspond essentially to those of the natural stones that they copy;


- “artificial” for crystallized products with no known natural equivalent;


- “imitation” for artificial products which imitate the effect, color and appearance of natural stones or organic materials, or other artificial products, without possessing the chemical properties or the physical properties or the structure crystalline.


The use of the terms: “raised”, “cultivated”, “cultured”, “true”, “precious”, “fine”, “genuine”, “natural” is prohibited to designate the products listed in this article.



Section 5


The use of the terms: “semi-precious” and “semi-fine” is prohibited to designate all the materials and products mentioned in article 1.



Section 6


The terms: “pearl” or “fine pearl” are reserved for natural concretions secreted accidentally, without any human intervention, inside wild molluscs.



Section 7


Are called “cultured pearls” the pearls whose formation in a living mollusk is artificially provoked by the intervention of man, by any means whatsoever.


These cultured pearls are called “3/4 sawn or 1/2 sawn cultured pearls”, depending on their shape, when they have been sawn or ground.


They are called “composite cultured pearls” when they result from the assembly by man of the upper part of a cultured pearl with one or more lower parts of the same nature or of any other material.



Section 8


Are called “imitation pearls”:


- pearls wholly or partially made by man, copying the appearance, color and effect of natural or cultured pearls but not possessing their physical or chemical properties or their crystalline structure, even if natural materials have been used;


- cultured pearls treated by depositing any coating on the surface, in particular a plastic varnish;


- pearl-like products whose outer layers are not entirely the result of natural secretion inside the producing mollusk.



Section 9


It is prohibited to import, hold for sale, offer for sale, sell or distribute free of charge the materials and products mentioned in Article 1 under a name other than that provided for in Articles 2 to 8. of this decree.


This denomination is indicated on the labels accompanying the product and on any commercial or advertising document referring to it.



Section 10


For the products mentioned in article 2, an information sheet describing the treatments applied, other than the practices mentioned in article 3, their effects and the precautions to be taken in the maintenance of stone, organic matter or pearl is made available to the consumer prior to the sale, then given to him with the invoice.


For the products mentioned in article 3, consumers are informed, by display at the points of sale, that certain gemstones may have been subject to traditional lapidary practices, by the use of colorless fluids and heating, and that the pearls could have been laundered. This posting must be perfectly legible from the place where customers are usually received. When these products are offered to the consumer using a distance communication technique, the same information appears on the distance selling contract offer.



Section 11


The provisions of this decree do not preclude the placing on the market in France of products legally manufactured and marketed in another Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area which ensures a degree of protection and consumer information equivalent to that of this decree.



Section 12


Decree No. 68-1089 of 29 November 1968 laying down public administration regulations for the application of the amended law of 1 August 1905 on the repression of fraud and falsification with regard to the trade in precious stones and pearls is repealed.



Section 13


This decree will enter into force on February 1, 2002.



Section 14


The Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industry, the Keeper of the Seals, Minister for Justice, the Secretary of State for the Budget, the Secretary of State for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Trade, Crafts and Consumer Affairs and the Secretary of State for Industry are responsible, each as far as he is concerned, for the execution of this decree, which will be published in the Official Journal of the French Republic.  



Lionel Jospin

By the Prime Minister:


The Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry, Laurent Fabius

The Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice, Marylise Lebranchu

The Secretary of State for the Budget, Florence Parly

The Secretary of State for small and medium-sized enterprises, trade, crafts and consumption, François Patriat

The Secretary of State for Industry, Christian Pierret

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