CIBJO President to present new Responsible Sourcing Blue Book at OECD’s Responsible Minerals Supply Chain Forum in Paris

ABOVE: OECD headquarters in Paris, the venue for next week’s 13th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains.



APRIL 17, 2019

CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri will present the World Jewellery Confederations’ recently approved Responsible Sourcing Blue Book next Tuesday, April 23, 2019, to the full plenary of the 2019 Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) at its headquarters in Paris.

The OECD forum, which this year will welcome about 1,200 delegates, will feature sessions on measuring impact and driving change, opportunities and challenges related to specific minerals such as diamonds, base metals, cobalt, the 3Ts and gold, and regulatory and policy updates related to responsible sourcing. In particular, the forum will focus on the OECD’s highly-regarded Due Diligence Guidance framework for minerals from high-risk areas.

The CIBJO president will be speaking during a late afternoon session on the first day of the forum, at which selected OECD stakeholders  will provide overviews of current and upcoming projects, with a focus on toolkits and data sources meant to facilitate the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains.

The first edition of the Responsible Sourcing Book was approved by the CIBJO Board of Directors in January of this year. While not a definitive code of practice, it recommends guidelines and procedures by which all participants in the jewellery supply chain may undertake supply-chain due diligence to support  responsible sourcing, irrespective of their size or financial capacity, to identify, assess and mitigate any identifiable risks related to  human rights, labour practices, money laundering,  financing of confict and corruption.

It becomes the latest in CIBJO’s Blue Book series of industry guides for standards and nomenclature. It specifically references the the OECD’s five-step Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, and supports the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

During his presentation, Dr. Cavalieri will also outline a complementary programme, currently being created to support members of the jewelry industry implement the recommended due diligence measures in their own businesses.

CIBJO President to present new Responsible Sourcing Blue Book at OECD’s Responsible Minerals Supply Chain Forum in Paris2019-04-17T13:06:13+00:00

Speaking to audience of Italian business leaders, CIBJO President outlines sustainability strategy for jewellery industry

ABOVE: CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri (second from left), at the podium during the Conova Club meeting on sustainability in Milan on April 10, 2019. He is joined on the podium by (from left) Professor Enrico Giovannini; moderator Laura La Posta, Editor in Chief of Il Sole 24 Ore; 2001 Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Andrew Michael Spence; and Alexia Giugni, Managing Director of the DWS Group.


APRIL 10, 2019

Speaking yesterday to members of the Canova Club, an exclusive Italian association of opinion leaders and decision makers from the country’s economic, finance and business communities, CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri has described what he termed as an essential shift in thinking in the jewellery industry, where the attitude towards artisanal and small-scale mining is changing from it being considered a challenge, to being more of an opportunity.

“Defensive measures in which the industry has played a key role, like the Kimberley Process, have helped reduce the level of violence in regions where artisanal mining is taking place, although there is good deal that still needs to be done, particularly in terms of systemic violence,” he said. “But in addition to that, the industry is getting involved at the grass-roots level to help equip and educate the artisanal mining communities, providing them legal access for their merchandise into the marketplace, and supplying them with knowledge to ensure that they are being paid fairly for what they produce.”

CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri during the Conova Club meeting on sustainability in Milan.

Founded in Rome in 1978, the Canova Club gathers together a virtual who’s who  of the Italian business world, conducting conclaves at which issues of common interest are discussed. The most recent gathering focused on the theme of “Sustainability: A Megatrend or Utopia?”

It featured a panel that included Dr. Cavalieri; Enrico Giovannini, a professor of economic statistics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, who in 2013 and 2014 served as Italy’s Minister of Labour and Social Policy, and between 2001 and 2009 was Director of Statistics and Chief Statistician of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); and Andrew Michael Spence, a Canadian-American economist and labour specialist at New York University, Stanford University and the SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, who in 2001 was the recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. The moderator of the event was Laura La Posta, Editor in Chief at Il Sole 24 Ore, a leading business daily in Milan.

In his wide raging overview of the economic and social role of the jewellery sector in developing countries, Dr. Cavalieri said that some of the traditional definitions of sustainability needed to be adjusted for an industry where many of its raw components are mined.

“For minerals, we have defined sustainability as their potential to generate sustainable grass-roots economic and social opportunities in the countries and regions in which they are located,” Dr. Cavalieri said. “And here we refer to opportunities both in the mineral extraction and the jewellery industries, and also in other economic sectors, which are secondary beneficiaries of the investments made in and revenues generated by precious gems and minerals.”

“But we do need to draw a distinction between industrialised mining operations and small-scale and artisanal mining,” he continued. “Larger mining companies typically have massive social development programmes, and are subject to stringent environmental regulations, which are part and parcel of their modus operandi. The same is not true of artisanal mining, which often is carried out by individuals or two or three-person operations, using the most basic equipment, with health and safety not primary concerns. These are the miners whose security is most likely to be threatened, and who often do not not properly understand the value of what they have extracted, meaning that they are frequently exploited by the traders who buy their goods.”

However, noted the CIBJO President, There also parts of the jewellery business, where not only economic activity is sustainable, but so is the product – environmentally as well as socially and economically. “These most often these involve biogenic materials in a marine environment, where sustainability is made possible through aquafarming, such as with cultured pearls, or controlled harvesting, as with precious coral,” he stated.

Over the past several years there has been been a strong move towards the adoption of uniform standards of practice, so as to optimise conditions in which sustainable activities can take place, Dr. Cavalieri said. These include the creation of strict codes, against which companies can be audited and certified.

“In principle these are positive developments, but they have raised some very difficult challenges for an industry that is made up predominantly by SMEs. Small companies, with limited human and financial resources, often struggle to meet the demands of compliance organisations, and many family-owned firms, which are ethical and often have been in the business for generations, find themselves being pushed aside by clients, simply because they are not certified as compliant,” Dr. Cavalieri continued.

CIBJO, he said, has been working hard to provide solutions, and particular in the more fragile sectors of the jewellery business, like coloured gemstones, where almost all firms qualify as SMEs, even the mining companies. Its new Responsible Sourcing Blue Book provides a framework and guidance for ethically sourcing gems and precious metals responsibly in the jewellery sector, referencing  the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for minerals from high-risk areas.

“The philosophy that guided us in the creation of the Responsible Sourcing Book is that all participants in the jewellery business have a duty of care, and thus should conduct supply-chain due diligence to the best of their ability,” the CIBJO President said.

“I strongly believe that, by committing to sustainability, our industry is able redefine the value proposition of our products in the public consciousness. Not only are they objets d’art and symbols of love and devotion, but they also are instruments that actively serve to create better and more sustainable societies” Dr. Cavalieri stated.

“When consumers buy jewellery, they should feel that they are not only doing something for themselves and their loved ones, but for the world and society as well,” he said.

A view from the audience during the Conova Club meeting on sustainability in Milan on April 9, 2019.

Speaking to audience of Italian business leaders, CIBJO President outlines sustainability strategy for jewellery industry2019-04-10T15:06:05+00:00

2019 CIBJO Congress to take place in Bahrain, November 18-20

ABOVE: The Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, the official venue and hotel of the 2019 CIBJO Congress, with the city of Manama in the background.


APRIL 9, 2019

CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, will hold its 2019 annual congress in Manama, the capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain, from November 18 to November 20. Pre-congress meetings will be held November 16 and 17, and the congress will follow the World Pearl Forum, which is due to take place on November 14 and 15.

The CIBJO Annual Congress will be organised by DANAT, the Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones, which is dedicated to developing the local and regional pearl and gemstone industry, and operates one of the world’s most sophisticated laboratories in the field.

The official venue and hotel of the 2019 CIBJO Congress is the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay.

CIBJO congresses serve as the official gathering place for the World Jewellery Confederation’s Assembly of Delegates, and are also the venue for the annual meetings of CIBJO’s sectoral commissions, where amendments can be introduced to the organisation’s definitive directories of international industry standards for diamonds, coloured stones, pearls, gem labs, precious metals, coral and responsible sourcing, known as the Blue Books.

The CIBJO Congress is also where the programme of World Jewellery Confederation Education Foundation (WJCEF), relating to responsible and sustainable activities in the industry, and CIBJO’s ongoing cooperation with the United Nations and its development programme is reported upon.

Located on an archipelago in the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain is home to a pearling industry dating back to at least the 3rd century B.C., giving it claim to what is almost certainly the world’s longest unbroken fine jewellery tradition. The natural pearl oyster beds to the north of the island, as well as Bahrain’s advantageous position as a port city on the trade routes between east and west, led to its old capital of Muharraq becoming the centre of the world’s first pearl-dominated economy. Today, the country remains the world’s preeminent producer of natural pearls, and also is a jewellery centre in its own right, serving the markets of the region.

“We are delighted to accept DANAT’s invitation and to bring the CIBJO Congress to Bahrain,” said Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO President. “What participants will discover is a country and an industry that blends its millennia-old legacy and tradition with cutting-edge technology and a vision for the future. We invite members of the gem and jewellery sectors from around the world to join us in Bahrain and be part of the discussion about how our industry will operate moving forward. Great changes are taking place, creating a series of challenges that will shape our business. The CIBJO Congress is where we can meet them together.”

A dedicated CIBJO Congress 2019 website will be launched shortly.

2019 CIBJO Congress to take place in Bahrain, November 18-202019-04-10T15:07:03+00:00

Uniform gemmological principles create common language for jewellery trade, CIBJO President tells symposium in Copenhagen

ABOVE: CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri (standing, right) addressing the first Copenhagen Gemmological Symposium at the Odd Fellow Palace on March 23, 2019.

MARCH 27, 2019

Transparency in business is enabled when all terminology and metrics are accepted and understood by all participants, CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri has told a gemmological conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. When a common business language is in place, and its rules and terms are publicly available, then the necessary elements exist for members of the business community to work together, to trust one another and to properly serve their consumers, he said.

The CIBJO President was speaking as a keynote presenter on March 23, 2019, at the first Copenhagen Gemmological Symposium, organised by the Danish Gemmological Association at the historic Odd Fellow Palace in the Danish capital.

“Gemmology is a not simply a descriptive science. It is a discipline developed to accurately understand and define gem materials, so as to ensure that the consumer knows exactly what he or she is buying,” Dr. Cavalieri said. “It exists in no small part to the fact that our products are wholly reliant on consumer confidence, and without that the entire premise on which our business is built would be meaningless.”

“But the confidence of consumers in the physical product is only part of the equation. Today, and for about 20 years already, it has become increasingly apparent that the ways in which we, the members of the jewellery industry, behave and impact society and the environment are also fundamental components of consumer confidence,” he continued.

The most universally accepted sets of gemmological standards are contained in the CIBJO Blue Books, said Dr. Cavalieri, which contain principles for the grading, methodology and nomenclature of diamonds, coloured gemstones, pearls and precious coral, as well guidelines for defining  precious metals. They are joined by a Blue Book laying out principles for the operation of gemmological laboratories, and, since January of this year, a Blue Book providing an industry-wide framework for the responsible sourcing of gems and precious metals. “Essentially, it is the Blue Books that serve as our industry’s common language,” the CIBJO President said.

Niels Ruddy Hansen (centre), the organiser of the Danish Gemmological Association’s first Copenhagen Gemmological Symposium, flanked by Erik Jens (left), a CIBJO board member, and Hayley Henning, VP Sales and Marketing Greenland Ruby.


In his address, the CIBJO President paid special tribute to the Danish Gemmological Association, which was created in March 1954, and in particular to the symposium organiser, Niels Ruddy Hansen. “To me and many others, he represents the very best of the European gemmological community, in terms of its commitment, respect of tradition and scientific endeavour,” Dr. Cavalieri said.

Uniform gemmological principles create common language for jewellery trade, CIBJO President tells symposium in Copenhagen2019-04-04T10:26:18+00:00

CIBJO releases simplified guide to responsible practices in diamond, coloured stones, pearl and coral trades

March 12, 2019

CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has released a simplified guide to ethical and responsible practices in the handling and trading of diamonds, coloured gemstones, pearls and coral, and has made it available for downloading in PDF format from the CIBJO website, in multiple languages, free of charge.

The 10-page to 13-page document, depending on the language in which it is downloaded, provides easy-to-understand guidelines for industry professionals concerning the disclosure and description of natural and treated gem materials, synthetics and other artificial products, as well as recommendations about information that should be requested from suppliers.

The document is intended to support jewellery business owners and professional staff, but it is not intended to replace CIBJO’s Blue Books, which are comprehensive guides of standards, practices and nomenclature for diamonds, coloured gemstones, pearls, coral, precious metals, gemmological laboratories and responsible sourcing, nor in any way supersede national legislation or regulations, or internationally approved protocols.

“The Do’s & Don’ts Guide is intended to serve as a quick and simple reference for industry professionals, to ensure that responsible practices are being applied,” explained Roland Naftule, President of CIBJO’s Sector A, which covers all gem materials and was responsible, along with the help and support of his vice-presidents, for producing the document. “We encourage all members of the industry to become familiar with the various Blue Books, but we appreciate that on the spur of the moment they can be overwhelming in terms of size and complexity. For that reason we produced this more concise and easily-read guide, with the goal being to promote consumer confidence through ethical trade.”

“Consumer confidence is the bedrock of the jewellery business, and to maintain and enhance this it is critical that responsible practices be applied, by all participants at every stage of the chain of distribution,” said CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri. “Our new Do’s & Don’ts Guide is designed to support this objective.”

To download CIBJO’s Do’s & Don’ts Guide from the CIBJO website, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

The guide can currently be downloaded in English, Arabic, Dutch, French, Hebrew, Italian and Portuguese. Additional language versions are currently being prepared and they will be added to the website as soon as they become available.

CIBJO releases simplified guide to responsible practices in diamond, coloured stones, pearl and coral trades2019-03-12T08:39:09+00:00

Harmonisation of standards, terminology and testing methods critical for Chinese trade’s development, CIBJO President tells Hong Kong seminars

ABOVE: CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri addressing the international standardisation seminar in Hong Kong on February 28, 2019.


March 5, 2019

Strict adherence to agreed-to grading standards, nomenclature and methods of testing are prerequisites for the development of the gemstone and jewellery industries in China, which are keen to establish a leading position internationally, and in the Asia-Pacific region in particular, CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri told audiences in Hong Kong last week. Both events took place during the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

The CIBJO President was a keynote speaker at the two seminars. The first, which was held on February 28, looked at prospects for international standardisation, and was organised by the National Gemstone Testing Centre (NGTC) of China, and the second, held on March 2, looked specifically at Fei Cui testing, and was organised by Gemmological Association of Hong Kong (GAHK), together with the Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification and the NGTC.

Appearing alongside Dr. Yang Lixin, the Director of NGTC’s Standardisation Department, at the international standardisation seminar on February 28, Dr. Cavalieri noted that an historic revision of the standardisation systems is currently underway in China. “The success that China will have in setting standards, and then ensuring that they are applied, or at the very least accepted in other countries, will to a large degree affect the Chinese jewellery industry’s success in Asia and the Pacific basin,” he said. “The question that I am addressing today is how should these standards and nomenclature be developed and applied?”

There is a readiness among the authorities involved in the reform of the standardisation process in China to defer to standards devised by  non-governmental standard-setting organisations, such as CIBJO in the jewellery and gemstone sectors, the CIBJO President noted. “I would strongly recommend that Chinese organisations like the National Gemstone Testing Centre not only adopt the ‘association standards’ articulated in CIBJO’s Blue Book system, but also play a greater role in helping formulate the Blue Book standards, so as to ensure that they meet the requirements of your domestic market, and also the markets through the Asia-Pacific area,” he stated.

Dr. Cavalieri proposed that NGTC lobby the Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) of APEC, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Alliance, to develop common standards and nomenclature, based on the CIBJO Blue Books,  in the 21 member countries – not a only for diamonds, but also coloured gemstones, pearls, precious coral and precious metals, and possibly precious materials with which China has a uniquely special relationship, like jade. “CIBJO will be your partner in the venture,” he said.

Dr. Yang Lixin, Director of NGTC’s Standardisation Department, addressing the international standardisation seminar on February 28.

Kent Wong, Managing Director of the Chow Tai Fook jewellery group and Chairman of the Jewellery Advisory Committee of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, addressing the seminar on the internationalisation of the Fei Cui Standard on March 2.


Jade, jadeite, omphacite and kosmochlor, which in China collectively are referred to as Fei Cui, fell under the spotlight at the seminar on March 2, and in particular upon a testing program developed in Hong Kong, which it is hoped will play a key role in the global popularisation of such jewellery outside of its home market.

“Fei Cui is an excellent example of a product and an industry that has not been transported or translated well outside of its primary market, which of course is China,” Dr. Cavalieri noted, pointing out that, in terms of market value, after diamonds, jade products make up the most valuable gem sector in the worldwide jewellery industry.

“While Western companies managed successfully to bring diamonds to China, the same cannot be said about jade producers and traders bringing their products to the West. Indeed, I think I can comfortably state that the international potential of Fei Cui is nowhere close to being realised,” the CIBJO President stated.

CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri (centre) receiving a gift of appreciation from Liang Zhenjie, Deputy Director of NGTC, and Eddie Fan, Chairman of GAHK, during the seminar on the Internationalisation of the Fei Cui Standard on March 2.

To a large degree the popularity that diamonds now enjoy in China can be attributed to the tremendous effort that was employed in creating the infrastructure and partnerships necessary, and also in branding and marketing. But there is another critical element in that success story, Dr. Cavalieri stated. “It  was the fact that when it came to describing the diamond, qualifying the criteria by which it is graded, and listing the types of treatments and enhancements that needed to be disclosed, systems had already been developed that ensured that, even though we all may speak in different languages, we can understand each other when it comes to the product. That lies at the heart of CIBJO’s mission, and it is also why the work being done by the Gemmological Association of Hong Kong and others in the formalization of Fei Cui testing is so important.”

“But doing the research is not enough. To properly internationalise the product, it is essential that the testing and grading standards be internationalised as well,” he stated.

To date most gemmologists outside of China and Hong Kong have preferred to identify the materials covered by “Fei Cui” individually, or sometimes in the case of mixtures, by combining the internationally agreed nomenclature – namely jadeite, omphacite and or kosmochlor. This currently is the approach taken in CIBJO Coloured Stone Blue Book. “The Fei Cui testing standards that have been developed are certainly more appropriate for a major market, such as that which exists in China, and the one that could potentially develop elsewhere in other parts of the world,” Dr. Cavalieri said.

“We are open to discussing changes, especially given the growing dominance of the Chinese markets, and the massive popularity of Fei Cui in this region,” he continued. “But clearly we are dependent on your input. It is possible to align the Fei Cui testing standards with the CIBJO Blue Books, but to do that successfully we require the experience, expertise and wealth of knowledge that has been acquired by the Gemmological Association of Hong Kong and others in this area.”

“The success of Fei Cui of repeating its success in China and South East Asia, in other countries as well, will depend in part upon the companies dealing in these materials showing the same skill and commitment as the diamond industry did in China 20 years earlier,” Dr. Cavelieri said in conclusion. “But it will also depend on our collective ability to transform the Fei Cui testing protocols that you have developed into international standards. We invite you to work together with us in assisting Fei Cui achieve its full potential, not only in China and Asia, but across the globe as well.”

Harmonisation of standards, terminology and testing methods critical for Chinese trade’s development, CIBJO President tells Hong Kong seminars2019-03-12T08:48:15+00:00