With fewer than six weeks to go to the opening of the 2019 CIBJO Congress in Manama, Bahrain, on November 18, 2019, the fifth of the CIBJO commissions’ Special Reports has been released. Prepared by the CIBJO Coloured Stone Commission, headed by Charles Abouchar, the report looks at opportunities provided by new technologies, and also at the vexing issue of gemstone variety names being used for marketing purposes, with few if any agreed to gemmological standards.
“One would surmise that, with the pace of technological advancement today, the challenges facing the coloured gemstone sector would be lessening in number,” Mr. Abouchar writes. “But, as we discover time and time again, both technology and human ingenuity have a tendency to create new challenges and transform old ones. We have our work cut out for us.”
“However, as an organisation committed to instilling ethical business practices, technology enables us to reach out to our colleagues in ways that once were not possible,” he continues, noting that over the past year CIBJO has made two landmark guides available to the industry – the “Do’s and Don’ts,” which provides easy-to-understand guidelines for industry professionals about the rules and methods for the accurate disclosure and description of natural materials, treated materials and artificial products, as well as recommendations about information that should be requested from suppliers; and the CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Blue Book, which recommends procedures by which all participants in the jewellery supply chain may undertake supply-chain due diligence. Both can be downloaded at no cost from the CIBJO website.
Describing unsubstantiated coloured gemstone variety names as the “biggest challenge our trade is facing right now,” Mr. Abouchar notes that there are numerous instances of the same descriptive names being assigned according to different standards, each time in accordance with the individual guidelines of various gemmological laboratories.
“Starting with more classical descriptive terms, like ‘pigeon blood’ and ‘royal blue,’ some laboratories began developing their own nomenclature, creating new descriptive names for a wide range of colours. Apparently, this is a mutually beneficial business strategy for both the laboratories and the dealers,” he writes.
Surmising that technology may eventually provide a solution to the problem, it is nonetheless imperative that the industry act quickly before consumer confidence is compromised. CIBJO’s Coloured Stone Commission will work in close collaboration with the organisation’s Gemmological Commission to establish standards and parameters for variety names, he notes.
To download a full copy of the CIBJO Coloured Stone Commission’s special report, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
CIBJO releases Coloured Stone Special Report, looking at technology’s impact and challenge of variety namesSteven Benson2019-10-09T08:20:04+00:00
With fewer than seven weeks to go to the opening of the 2019 CIBJO Congress in Manama, Bahrain, on November 18, 2019, the fourth of the CIBJO commissions’ Special Reports has been released. Prepared by the CIBJO Diamond Commission, headed by Udi Sheintal, the report focuses predominantly on what it refers to as the “faultline” between diamonds mined in nature and man-made diamonds.
“Because laboratory-grown diamonds prices were deliberately benchmarked against the price of natural diamonds at the outset, the risk exists that the consuming public will continue to associate the one with the other, even after the economics have changed,” Mr. Sheintal writes. “While natural diamonds may once have inflated the price of laboratory-grown stones, the price war in the laboratory-grown diamond sector could have the effect of depressing the value of goods in the natural diamond sector.”
“This makes the task of disconnecting the natural diamond sector and the laboratory-grown diamond sectors even more important, not only from our professional perspective, but from the perspective of the consumer as well. The appeal of both products is different, and so clearly are the economics. They both should be provided the opportunity to thrive, in harmony alongside each other,” he continues.
In the report, Mr. Sheintal calls for the creation of agreed-to rules of engagement between the natural diamond and laboratory-grown diamond sectors in marketing their products, and warns about a readiness to pitch one as being more ethical or environmentally acceptable than the other. “This is not only a self-destructive marketing strategy, but it is also questionable in terms of the claims being made and the data upon which they are based,” he writes.
“Proper rules of engagement need to be created. I suggest that one of them would be for all sides to agree that any stone, which may be precious, but always is a lifeless object, is neither ethical nor environmentally friendly. These qualities refer to the way in which they are mined or manufactured. The onus of responsible behaviour always falls upon the individuals and companies mining or synthesising, processing and marketing these products,” he notes.
To download a full copy of the CIBJO Diamond Commission’s special report, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
CIBJO releases Diamond Special Report examining issues at the faultline between natural and laboratory-grown stonesSteven Benson2019-10-09T08:19:27+00:00
With fewer than eight weeks to go to the opening of the 2019 CIBJO Congress in Manama, Bahrain, on November 18, 2019, the third of the CIBJO commissions’ Special Reports has been released. Prepared by the CIBJO Precious Metals Commission, headed by Huw Daniel, the report examines the increasing readiness of national authorities, particularly in the United States, to examine the integrity of the gold supply chain. The report also provides an overview of supply, demand and their effect on prices in the gold, platinum, palladium and silver markets.
“In a time of increasing uncertainty, investors predictably are seeking safe havens in these commodities, and that has implications on price. However, the outlook for demand is less clear, because the integrity of the gold supply chain has come under increasing scrutiny,” writes Mr. Daniel.
The focus on practices in the gold industry is coming from two different sources, the report notes. First, the mainstream media is intensifying reportage of “dirty gold” and issues around where and in what way the metal is sourced, and how it is moved through the supply chain. Second, the U.S government has given notice to the jewellery industry that, for purposes of national security, imported goods should be labelled with all of the countries they have passed through on the journey to the American consumer.
But, despite the increased pressure, the market-analysis section of the report predicts a favourable supply-demand balance for precious metals. But general, however, it is not jewellery that is the deciding factor, but rather the investment market or the automotive sector. In the case of palladium, for example, there has been increasing pressure on supply due to to auto-catalyst systems, because of stricter fuel emissions legislation being imposed globally.
To download a full copy of the CIBJO Precious Metals Commission’s special report, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
CIBJO releases Precious Metals Special Report, looks at market drivers, trends and increased scrutinySteven Benson2019-10-09T08:18:46+00:00