Harmonised gemmological standards promote fair jewellery trade, CIBJO President tells European Gemmological Symposium in Idar-Oberstein

ABOVE: German Gemmological Association President Thomas Lind and CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri flanked by speakers and guests at the 7th European Gemmological Symposium in Idar-Oberstein, Germany.  Seen in the photograph (from left) are: Hans-Jürgen Henn, Dr. Robert Chodelka, Prof. Dr. Andy H. Shen, Frank Frühauf, Dr. Claudio Milisenda, Branko Deljanin, Dr. Thomas Lind, Prof. Dr. Henry Hänni, Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri, Kenneth Scarratt, Dr. James Shigley, Dr. Ahmadjan Abduriyim, Dr. Michael Krzemnicki, Tom Stephan, Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Fritsch, Dr. Federico Pezzotta, Jörg Schloßmacher, Dr. Ulrich Henn and Dr. Tobias Häger.

MAY 27, 2019

Addressing the opening ceremony of the 7th European Gemmological Symposium in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, on May 25, CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri called on the world’s gemmological community to participate through CIBJO in the creation of harmonised sets of grading standards, practices and nomenclature, as part of an international effort to ensure the integrity of the jewellery market and to maintain consumer confidence.

“We are not a commercial organisation, but our mission is to promote a business environment in which commercial organisations can optimise their effectiveness and revenues,” he stated. “And to do that over the long term, we believe it is essential that our working environment is responsible, fair and ethical. If this is not the case, in a luxury product industry like ours the viability of our business will be threatened and we will run the risk of losing consumer confidence, which in this type of business is unthinkable.”

Dr. Cavalieri paid special tribute to the conference organisers, the German Gemmological Association and the German Foundation for Gemstone Research, the DSEF German Gem Lab, as well as to Dr. Thomas Lind, the association’s President and Chaiman of the Board of Directors of DSEF, and Dr. Claudio Milisenda, DSEF’s Director. The conference in Idar-Oberstein provided an opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary since the founding of DSEF. Interestingly, when the first European Gemmological Symposium took place in 2007, it also was in Idar-Oberstein and the German Gemmological Association was celebrating the 75th anniversary of its establishment.

“Generally, when I am invited to address occasions like this, I take time to point out that the important work done by CIBJO is entirely dependent on it its members, and their readiness to contribute knowledge and expertise for the benefit our international community. I usually point out that if you want to make a difference, then you need to take part in the process. No such call is necessary today, because individuals like Thomas and Claudio, and many other German friends have made very significant contributions, not only to CIBJO but other industry bodies, in gemmology, gemstones, diamonds, precious metals, and the development of responsible business standards, he stated.

Dr. Lind currently serves as Vice President of CIBJO’s Sector A, which is the division of the organisation that oversees all activities related to gems materials, and Dr. Milisenda serves as Vice President of CIBJO’s Gemmological Commission.

“To create a proper work environment, we need to need to be fully transparent in the way we operate our businesses and about what we sell, and, when that environment is international, we need to be sure that our counterparts always understand what we are saying,” Dr. Cavalieri noted. This makes the harmonisation of standards and nomenclature a critical necessity. When a common business language is in place, and its rules and terms are publicly available, then we have the necessary elements to work together, to trust one another and to properly serve our consumers.”

To download a copy of Dr. Cavalieri’s full speech to the 7th European Gemmological Symposium, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Harmonised gemmological standards promote fair jewellery trade, CIBJO President tells European Gemmological Symposium in Idar-Oberstein2019-05-27T10:13:54+00:00

Registration for CIBJO Congress 2019 now open, dedicated congress website launched

MAY 22, 2019

Registration for the 2019 congress of CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, is now open. Delegates and other participants may register for the congress via a dedicated congress website located at: http://www.cibjo.org/congress2019.

CIBJO’s 2019 annual congress will take place in Manama, the capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain, from November 18 to November 20, with pre-congress meetings beginning on November 16. It is being organised by DANAT, the Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones. The venue for the event is the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay.

The dedicated website includes the congress programme, the various congress venues, important travel information, background information about Bahrain, news and photo galleries. An online registration form for the congress is available, and, since the CIBJO Congress 2019 will be a carbon neutral event, participants are also requested to complete a carbon foot-printing form. A registration form for the programme organised for accompanying persons will be added shortly.

Upon registering, CIBJO Congress will also be able to book hotel rooms using links provided on the dedicated website, both for the official congress hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, and the alternate hotel, the Wyndham Grand Manama, which is located within walking distance from the official venue.

CIBJO Congresses serve as the gathering place for the World Jewellery Confederation’s Assembly of Delegates, and also are 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 its ongoing cooperation with the United Nations is reported upon.

Registration for CIBJO Congress 2019 now open, dedicated congress website launched2019-05-22T09:37:21+00:00

CIBJO and the Coloured Gemstone Working Group to create responsible sourcing tools for jewellery industry

ABOVE: Dr. Assheton Stewart Carter (left), CEO of The Dragonfly Initiative, which facilitates the Coloured Gemstone Working Group, and Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri, President of CIBJO, signing the MOU committing to the joint development of tools enabling companies implement best practice principles for responsible sourcing, on April 23, 2019, during the OECD Responsible Minerals Forum in Paris.



MAY 21, 2019

CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, and the Coloured Gemstone Working Group (CGWG) facilitated by the Dragonfly Initiative (TDI) have announced a new collaboration to strengthen and disseminate tools and resources for the responsible sourcing of coloured gemstones, to support a transparent, sustainable and vibrant coloured gemstone industry. It is intended that the tools and resources being developed will also be applicable, where possible, in other sectors of the wider jewellery industry.

The two organisations are planning to make a suite of tools and resources downloadable free of charge from an online platform. The objective is that they will support any company, irrespective of its size, geographic location or financial capacity, in conducting due diligence of their supply chains.

CIBJO is an association of national jewellery associations and commercial bodies involved in the jewellery industry dedicated to the harmonisation of standards and nomenclature, and the promotion of responsible business practices through jewellery industry supply chains. In January 2019, the Board of Directors of CIBJO approved the first edition of the Responsible Sourcing Book, which provides a framework and guidance for due diligence related to the responsible sourcing of gemstones and precious metals in the jewellery sector.

The CGWG comprises Tiffany & Co., Swarovski, Richemont, Muzo Companies, LVMH, Kering, and Gemfields and has been facilitated by The Dragonfly Initiative since 2015. The Dragonfly Initiative (“TDI”) is an advisory firm established to support businesses in precious metals, gemstones and raw materials’ value chains to work collaboratively, and for mutual benefit, to realise an environmentally, economically and socially responsible system of connected enterprises. The CGWG’s goal is to provide the necessary business tools and resources to enable all members of the coloured gemstone industry to embed sustainability into their organisations and in their decisions for the sourcing of gemstones.

Coloured gemstones are unique, as are the businesses and people who work to recover, cut, polish and manufacture the jewellery in which they are set. It is imperative that, as standards of corporate accountability, labour practices, environmental protection and good governance across the industry are raised, they are done so while protecting the traditions, crafts and livelihoods of all who work in and depend on it.

On April 23, 2019, against the backdrop of the OECD Responsible Minerals Forum in Paris, CIBJO and the CGWG signed a Memorandum of Understanding, according to which they committed to jointly developing management tools and resources that will help businesses of all sizes and activities in the industry implement best practices for responsible sourcing. The objectives of the joint cooperation include:

  1. Mutual support in the development and implementation of CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Blue Book;
  2. Development and publication of a practical “toolkit” that will help small companies with their implementation of the guidance in the CIBJO Blue Book through a dedicated online resource platform hosted and managed by TDI; and
  3. Development of educational and promotional programmes for the CIBJO Blue Book and the toolkit, aimed at informing stakeholders about the CIBJO Blue Book.

Speaking at the signing of the MOU, CIBJO President Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri commented: “What we are accomplishing through this agreement goes beyond making declarative statements about the need to practice responsible sourcing; it also provides members of our industry, and especially the many small and medium-sized companies of which we are predominantly comprised, practical means of getting the job done. We have long contended that supply chain integrity should not become an artificial barrier of entry into the business, and that support  must be extended to all ethical players. That is exactly what we will be doing.”

Dr. Assheton Stewart Carter, CEO of The Dragonfly Initiative and representing the eight brands and mining companies of the CGWG, said: “The responsible sourcing movement is a powerful force that has the potential to bring transformative change and improve the lives of many people deep in the coloured gemstone supply chain. The objective must be to democratise sustainability, so it is accessible to even the smallest businesses and individual crafts people. To have a truly sustainable footprint, industry collaboration is the only way forward. The CGWG has taken a step to provide the tools and information to help achieve this goal, but it is only the first step. The next steps in this journey need to be taken in tandem with others and we are thrilled, therefore, to be working with CIBJO on this important initiative.”

Anisa Kamadoli Costa, Chief Sustainability Officer of Tiffany & Co., said: “Tiffany & Co. is proud to be a member of the CGWG, which came together to address social and environmental issues in the sourcing of coloured gemstones and identify opportunities to strengthen responsible practices along the entire value chain. At Tiffany & Co., we believe that a key objective of this work is to embed sustainability throughout the coloured gemstone industry by creating resources, tools and best practice guidance for the thousands of small and medium companies along the supply chain. Along with the other members of the CGWG, we are pleased to be partnering with CIBJO to help empower these suppliers to advance responsible practices in their own operations and, ultimately, to have a positive impact on workers, local communities and the environment.”

Claire Piroddi, Sustainability Manager Watches and Jewellery at Kering, noted: “At Kering, we think that, if we want to change the status quo around responsible sourcing, collaboration is key. While we are focusing on understanding the risks and sustainable development opportunities in our supply chain, we want to leverage our knowledge to develop the capacity of our business partners to meet international expectations. The tools developed in the CGWG have been instrumental to that end and we want to keep working in that direction through this joint programme with CIBJO.”

CIBJO and the Coloured Gemstone Working Group to create responsible sourcing tools for jewellery industry2019-05-21T16:37:25+00:00

CIBJO President lays out comprehensive plan to promote responsible sourcing in jewellery industry to OECD forum in Paris

ABOVE: Gaetano Cavalieri (centre), CIBJO President, addressing the OECD Mineral Supply Chain Forum in Paris on April 23, 2019. He is flanked by Guus Houtluin, Senior Advisor on Trade Issues, European External Action Service, and by Estelle Levin-Nally of Levin Sources.



APRIL 23, 2019

Speaking in Paris today to a plenary session of the 13th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri has delineated a comprehensive plan for promoting responsible sourcing practices throughout the jewellery, gemstone and precious metals sectors, which includes the release this past January of CIBJO’s new Responsible Sourcing Blue Book, and an online platform that will provide a set of dedicated due diligence tools free of charge to the industry.

The CIBJO President was speaking during a special session on the first day of the OECD forum at which select stakeholders provided details about current and updated projects. The session was moderated by Guus Houtluin, a senior advisor on trade issues at the European Action Service (EEAS).

In his presentation, the CIBJO president pointed to factors that molded CIBJO’s strategic approach. The greater jewellery industry is overwhelmingly comprised of SMEs, many of which are family-owned and run, he noted, pointing out that, while on the one hand that means that they are more likely to remain committed to the business over the long term, on the other hand many are limited in the amount of resources and personnel they can commit to detailed compliance systems.

“This paradox has become more apparent over the past decade and a half, as awareness of responsible practices has grown, both among our members and our consumers. As an organisation, much of our attention has been concentrated on meeting the requirements of a socially aware business community, while trying to protect the fabric of our industry,” he stated.

A key step step in CIBJO’s programme was the release this January of its Responsible Sourcing Blue Book,  which provides a framework and guidance for ethically sourcing gems and precious metals responsibly in the jewellery sector. It references the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for minerals from high-risk areas, insists on compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and the World Diamond Council System of Warranties, and it supports the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

“An operating principle was that it would be inclusive, meaning that there is an expectation that the standards, guidelines and systems that it describes can reasonably be applied by all members of the industry, irrespective of size or financial capacity,” the CIBJO President stated.

To support members of the jewellery industry in implementing the principles laid out in our responsible sourcing document, CIBJO is now in the process of setting up an online platform that will educate them about the due diligence steps that should be taken, and at the same time will provide a set of downloadable tools and templates, which they can adapt for their use.

A dedicated suite of due diligence tools will be available at no cost via the the new CIBJO online platform. Dr. Cavalieri explained, and helping CIBJO develop this service is the Coloured Gemstones Working Group, facilitated by the Dragonfly Initiative. The Dragonfly Initiative is an advisory firm that supports businesses in the precious metals, gemstones and raw materials sectors create interconnected systems of environmentally, economically and socially responsible companies.

“Our ultimate goal is to support the principles expounded by the OECD and to introduce them to thousands of companies in the jewellery supply chain, so creating environments in which those companies may responsibly trade and manage the minerals they use,” Dr. Cavalieri said.

To download a copy of Dr. Cavalieri’s full speech to the OECD forum, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

CIBJO President lays out comprehensive plan to promote responsible sourcing in jewellery industry to OECD forum in Paris2019-04-23T22:11:56+00:00

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