CIBJO-IEG seminar at VICENZAORO January show looks at how SMEs face the challenge of responsible sourcing and sustainability

“Trust, but verify” is a rhyming Russian proverb (Доверя́й, но проверя́й) that entered the English lexicon in the 1980s, when it was popularised by American President Ronald Reagan in respect to nuclear disarmament. It is now becoming a fact of life for all players in the jewellery industry, where doing due diligence to ensure responsible sourcing practices, verifiable supply chain integrity and social and environmental sustainability is becoming a requirement of doing business.

But the cost of conducting due diligence and becoming involved in projects that promote the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals can be restrictive, especially for smaller and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is thus a cause of considerable anxiety in the jewellery sector, where most companies are of limited dimensions. This is especially so in Italy, where all but a handful of firms are SMEs, and most are family owned.

Members of the “Does Size Matter?” panel during the seminar at the VICENZAORO show in Vicenza, Italy, on January 17, 2020. They are (from left): Giorgio Bodei, Director of Pomellato; Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC); Philip Olden, President of CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Commission, the seminar moderator; Moya McKeown, a Sustainability Advisor at Carbon Expert; and Vincenzo Liverino, President of CIBJO’s Coral Commission.

The pressure to do due diligence is being exerted at both ends of the value chain. At the upstream side, mining companies, and particularly those in the diamond industry, are demanding that their suppliers demonstrably show that they are acting responsibly. Downstream, major retailers are increasingly likely to demand that their suppliers demonstrate that they have conducting due diligence on their own supply chains.

CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri greeting the seminar participants.

Marco Carniello, Director of the VICENZAORO shows, delivering a welcome address.

How SMEs can successfully meet these challenges was the subject of a seminar held the first day of the VICENZAORO show in Vicenza, Italy, on January 17, 2020. Entitled “Does Size Matter?”, it was organized by CIBJO and hosted by the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG), which owns the VICENZAORO show. The event was the latest in an ongoing programme designed and operated by the two organisations in support of Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability in the jewellery sector, which is endorsed by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The seminar, which was conducted simultaneously in English and Italian, was supported by leading Italian trade organisations, among them Federpreziosi and Club degli Orafi. Steven Tranquilli, Federpreziosi’s Director, and Gabriele Aprea, President of Club degli Orafi, both welcomed the participants, together with CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri, and Marco Carniello, Director of the VICENZAORO shows.

Gabriele Aprea, President of Club degli Orafi, addressing the seminar.

Steven Tranquilli, Director of Federpreziosi, speaking to seminar participants.

Moderated by Philip Olden, President of CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Commission, and featuring a panel of international speakers, the seminar outlined what is required today in the industry in terms of responsible sourcing, supply chain integrity and environmental sustainability. It also presented the experiences of Italian companies that successfully have incorporated principles of CSR and sustainability in their businesses.

The purpose of the seminar was to provide practical guidance. The speakers outlined what is a required in terms of responsible sourcing, supply chain integrity and sustainability, and then presented a range of alternative solutions.


Philip Olden, President, CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Commission, United Kingdom

Mr. Olden, who served as moderator of the seminar, outlined the principles for responsible sourcing in CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Blue Book, emphasizing how they are designed to be adopted by all players in the industry, irrespective of size.

Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director, Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), United Kingdom

Ms. Van der Veken described the operation of the jewellery industry standards and certification organisation, whose Code of Practice now includes gold, silver, platinum group metals, diamonds and coloured gemstones. She noted that 146 of RJC’s more than 1,200 members are Italian, with many of them SMEs.

Moya McKeown, Sustainability Advisor, Carbon Expert, Spain

Ms. McKeown described CIBJO’s Jewellery Industry Greenhouse Gas Measurement Initiative, which is a designed to enable members of the industry estimate their carbon footprint and then neutralise it, as part of the worldwide effort to limit the pace of global warming and climate change.

Vincenzo Liverino, President, CIBJO Coral Commission, Italy

As CIBJO Coral Commission, Mr. Liverino has championed a programme aimed at conserving the deep-water precious coral reefs, as well the shallow-water common coral reefs that are today under threat from global warming. As an SME, he is an adopter of the CIBJO Jewellery Industry Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and provides his perspective on how the jewellery industry may play its part in facing the challenge of climate change.

Giorgio Bodei, Director, Pomellato, Italy

Mr Bodei describes the efforts of Pomellato, which is part of the Kering Group and is one of Italy’s leading jewelry manufacturers, to ensure that all its suppliers, many of which are smaller companies, follow responsible sourcing practices. He highlighted the firm’s  Nuvola Collection, which includes gold exclusively  sourced from artisanal miners, all of whom have been certified by the Fairmined organisation.  (Presentation in Italian)

CIBJO-IEG seminar at VICENZAORO January show looks at how SMEs face the challenge of responsible sourcing and sustainability2020-01-22T09:03:48+00:00

CIBJO Congress 2019 in Manama, Bahrain

The 2019 CIBJO Congress has taken place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manama, Bahrain, from November 18 to 20, with steering committee meetings taking place on November 16 and 17.  It was attended by about 220 participants, with about 150 flying in from abroad.



Serving as the official venue for the meeting of the CIBJO Assembly of Delegates, the CIBJO Congress gathered together members of national jewellery and gemstone associations from the more than 40 countries and representatives of many of the industry’s most important commercial bodies that are members in the confederation. During the event, the organisation’s Diamond, Coloured Stones, Pearl, Coral, Precious Metals, Gemmological and Responsible Sourcing Blue Books, which are industry’s most widely accepted directories of uniform grading and business standards and nomenclature, were discussed and updated. Other subjects on the agenda included laboratory-grown diamonds, Fei Cui, technology and jewellery industry efforts to combat climate change.



CIBJO Congress 2019 opens in Bahrain with focus on climate change and environmental sustainability

The 2019 CIBJO Congress opened in Bahrain, with a call on the jewellery industry by CIBJO President Gaetano to take action on climate change, which he said was not an issue specific to the sector, but it is the “most important story of our time.”

Legacy of Bahrain’s historic pearl industry highlighted during 2019 CIBJO Congress opening

HE Khalid Al Rumaihi, CEO of Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, said that that it established DANAT, Bahrain’s Institute for Pearls and Gemstones in 2017, as part of country’s effort to diversify the economy by reviving its almost 5,000 pearling industry, ending its reliance on oil

Sustainability crucial but customisation also vital, Responsible Sourcing Commission is told

The Responsible Sourcing Commission held it first official session on the opening day of the 2019 CIBJO Congress in Bahrain on November 19, after the body was formally established at the conclusion of the CIBJO Congress in Colombia in 2018.

Laboratory-Grown Diamond Working Group becomes primary focus of Diamond Commission

Commission President Udi Sheintal asked the CIBJO Congress participants what type of relationship they believe the long-standing Diamond Commission should have the new Laboratory-Grown Diamond Working Group.

Laboratory-Grown Diamond Working Group presents blueprint for set of working principles for new industry sector

There was intense interest in the first meeting of group headed by Wesley Hunt of the De Beers Group. He said the new body was “about us working together with differentiated products that consumers can understand.

Environmental concerns take centre stage at Marketing and Education Commission meeting

CIBJO’s green initiative aims to protect the world for future generations. “The world is changing so quickly. We are poisoning ourselves. I would like to encourage more organisations associated with CIBJO to sign up,” said Commission President Jonathan Kendall.

CIBJO Congress conducts special Fei Cui special session, looking to create international standards for trade in jade products

Some CIBJO members expressed their surprise at the size of the market which is estimated to be worth more than eight billion dollars, making Fei Cui the world’s largest gem category after diamonds. Almost all sales take place in China and other eastern markets.

Ethical practices and gold supply chain concerns focus of CIBJO Ethics Commission

Commission President Tiffany Stevens said that the emphasis on ethical business practices has evolved in the last year or so. There is an increasing reliance on international frameworks and standards, such as the the OECD principles that are referenced the new CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Blue Book.

DNA fingerprinting report becomes focus of discussion during Coral Commission session in Bahrain

DNA fingerprinting is a powerful tool for species identification and possibly geographic determination, and has proven effective in addressing misconceptions that shallow-water reef coral is the same as deep-water precious coral.

Pearl Commission focuses on American request to reconsider use of word’ cultured,’ as well as Keshi terminology

With the 2019 CIBJO Congress taking place in Bahrain, a historic pearling centre and most probably the world’s most prolific producer of natural pearls, the request by an American association that the use of the word “cultured” be reconsidered came to many as a surprise.

Gemmological Commission focuses on update of commercial colour-terms guidance document

Colour-terms used by the commercial bodies to define certain coloured gemstones have long been an issue of contention in gemmological circles, where specialists are concerned that few if any universal standards have been created to protect consumers.

Precious Metals Commission considers consequences of increasing government scrutiny in the United States

Over the past half year, the U.S. government has been signalling its intention to increase scrutiny of the jewellery trade, to ensure that it is complying with Anti-Money Laundering and other measures to prevent malign activity.

More accurate definitions of gem varieties focus of Coloured Stone Commission in Bahrain

“Where does beryl stop being an emerald and become a green beryl?” asked Coloured Stone Commission President Charles Abouchar, when opening the body’s session at the 2019 CIBJO Congress.

CIBJO Congress 2019 wraps up in Bahrain with creation of Laboratory-Grown Diamond and Technology Committees

It is imperative that the jewellery industry develop a better understanding of where things are headed, rather than having to react to situations brought about by technological developments, about which it often has shown itself to be not well informed, nor prepared, said CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri.






















President, CIBJO

Opening Session Address
November 18, 2019

Opening Session Presentation
November 18, 2019

Executive Director, UN Global Compact

CEO, Mumtalakat

Address to Opening Session
November 18, 2019

Chairman, DANAT, Bahrain Institute for Pearls & Gemstones

Address to Opening Session
November 18, 2019

Department of Economics & Finance, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”

President, EMS (formerly known as Mineria Texas Colombia)

AICESIS, New-York Permanent Representative
IGO in Observer Status with United Nations ECOSOC

President, World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB)

Address to Opening Session
November 18, 2019

President, CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Commission

Executive Director, Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC)

Senior Manager, Government Relations, UN Global Compact

Project Leader, Orbicon

Chair, CIBJO Laboratory-Grown Diamond Working Group

Presentation to Laboratory-Grown Diamond Working Group Session
November 19, 2019

President, CIBJO Marketing & Education Commission

President, CIBJO Coral Commission

Vice President, CIBJO Coral Commission

Board Member, Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA)


As a reflection of Bahrain’s ancient pearling history and the strong desire to protect this heritage, DANAT was established as the guardian of global gemmological excellence. It plays a vital role in ensuring, protecting and enhancing public trust in pearls, gemstones and jewellery.

Home to one of the world’s most sophisticated gemmological laboratories, DANAT is an authority on industry standards, scientific knowledge and education, and is committed to maintaining the highest standards of professional and personal ethics. It is dedicated supporting the pearl and gemstone industry locally, regionally and internationally, developing a new generation of gemmologists, and providing knowledge and expertise to industry professional and gemmology enthusiasts.

It was established in 2017, under the aegis of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and was formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom.

DANAT’s vision is to become the world’s preferred institute for natural pearls and gemstones’ third-party verification services and scientific research.






CIBJO Congress 2019 in Manama, Bahrain2019-12-02T13:29:03+00:00

Technological solutions for sustainability and responsible sourcing spotlighted at CIBJO-IEG seminar at VICENZAORO September show

With members of the jewellery and gemstone sectors under growing pressure to actively demonstrate that they are conducting their businesses in a sustainable manner, including verifying that the items they purchase, process and sell have been sourced responsibly, a range of technological solutions are currently being developed to help them comply with the due diligence requirements. These came under the spotlight during a seminar on September 9, 2019, at the VICENZAORO show in Vicenza, Italy, organized by CIBJO and hosted by the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG).

The seminar was the latest edition in a series of educational programmes organized by the two bodies, which is endorsed by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), to support Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability in the jewellery sector. As, Marco Carniello, Director of IEG’s Jewellery and Fashion Division, pointed out, the seminar this September marked the 10th year of cooperation between CIBJO and Italy’s leading jewellery trade show organizer.

A growing percentage of the jewellery, gemstone and precious metals industries have taken steps in recent years to implement sustainable and responsible sourcing principles in their businesses, with more than 1,300 worldwide already certified by compliance organisations, after undergoing monitoring by independent auditors.

But in an industry that is dominated by small and medium-sized companies, many participants find it challenging to follow suit and consequently could experience difficulty in gaining access to chains of supply. The technologies discussed at the seminar are largely being developed to address these challenges.

Marco Carniello (left), Director of IEG’s Jewellery & Fashion Division, and Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO President, opening the seminar in Vicenza on September 9, 2019.

“CIBJO is committed to the development of an ethical and sustainable jewellery industry, which sources its raw materials in both a responsible and transparent manner,” said CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri, opening the seminar. “As we reiterated in the new Responsible Sourcing Blue Book which was approved earlier this year, we believe that all participants should do due diligence to the best of their ability. At the same time, we also insist that no ethical members of our community be discriminated against because they currently lack the resources necessary to implement a full compliance system. It is for this reason that we view the development of technological solutions as being so important.”

The panel of speakers, which was moderated by Erik Jens, vice president of CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Commission, represented a cross section of this growing industry service sector, providing solutions to industry participants at all stages of the chain of distribution, from the mine to the retailer.

Marco Carniello, Director of IEG’s Jewellery and Fashion Division, opening the CIBJO-IEG seminar  at the VIZENZAORO show on September 9, 2019. He is joined on the podium (from left)by:  Erik Jens, Vice President of CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Commission and the seminar moderator; Michillay Brown, Tracr; Assheton Stuart Carter, The Dragonfly Initiative; Daniel Nyfeler;  Gübelin Gem Lab; Konstantin Born, GemFair; Francesca Marino, CIBJO; and Mark Hanna, Richline Group.


Michillay Brown, Industry Transformation, Tracr, United Kingdom

Ms. Brown introduced the De Beers-developed blockchain-powered traceability platform, which uses cutting-edge technology to connect the diamond supply-chain and provide provenance, traceability and authenticity for the diamond industry.

Dr. Assheton Stuart Carter, The Dragonfly Initiative, United Kingdom

As head of the sustainability advisory firm, Dr. Carter and his team are currently developing a suite of online due diligence tools that will be made available free of charge to the jewellery and gemstone industry, as a part of a joint initiative by CIBJO and the Coloured Gemstone Working Group, which Dragonfly facilitates.

Dr. Daniel Nyfeler, Managing Director, Gübelin Gem Lab, Switzerland,

Dr. Nyfeler presented the Gübelin Gem Lab’s Provenance Proof project, a gemstone paternity programme that uses virtually undetectable nano-particles which are embedded in a gemstone, containing identifying information to verify its origin, and then blockchain technology to communicate its provenance through the chain of distribution.

Konstantin Born, Business Development Manager, GemFair, United Kingdom

Mr. Born described the De Beers’ pilot project that aims to create a secure, transparent route to the market for ethically-sourced artisanal and small-scale mined diamonds, where the miners are assured of receiving fair value for their output, using technology to foster the sector’s development as a credible and trusted source of diamond supply.

Mark Hanna, Chief Marketing Officer, Richline Group, USA

Mr Hanna presented the TrustChain Initiative of the Richline Group, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. It tracks and authenticates diamonds and precious metals through every stage of the supply chain, as it becomes a piece of finished jewelry, providing digital verification, physical product and process verification, and third-party oversight.

Francesca Marino, Senior CSR Advisor, CIBJO

Ms. Marino provided CIBJO’s perspective of sustainability and responsible sourcing in the jewellery industry, as it is articulated in the recently approved Responsible Sourcing Blue Book.

Technological solutions for sustainability and responsible sourcing spotlighted at CIBJO-IEG seminar at VICENZAORO September show2019-09-13T14:07:20+00:00

CIBJO holds its 2018 congress in Bogotá, Colombia, focuses on responsible sourcing and adapting to changing business and technological environment

CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has wrapped up its 2018 annual congress at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bogotá, Colombia, which was held from October 15 to October 17, with steering committee meetings taking place on October 13 and 14. A highlight of the event was the unveiling of a Responsible Sourcing Guidance, which is designed to provide  benchmarks for responsible sourcing systems developed and applied by jewellery and gemstone industry organisations and commercial bodies, and for governments that may seek to create viable regulatory systems.

Addressing the congress, CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri called on the jewellery and gemstone industries to adapt to the often-dramatic changes that have taken place in the business, technological and geopolitical environments, stressing this is necessary in order to develop and prosper.

The congress was hosted by Fedesmeraldas, the National Federation of Emeralds of Colombia, and CDTEC, Colombia’s leading gemmological institute.



CIBJO concludes 2018 congress in Bogotá, Colombia, after focusing strongly on responsible sourcing and new technologies

During the concluding General Assembly session on the final day, CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri described the congress as most successful, noting that significant work had been accomplished in driving forward the business and social agendas of the jewellery and gemstone industries, and in particular preparing them for the luxury marketplace in the years ahead.

Colombian Vice-President Marta Lucia Ramirez visits CIBJO Congress, addresses challenges and opportunities facing country’s jewellery industry

Colombian Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez was a guest of the 2018 CIBJO Congress on its third and final day, addressing delegates as well as about 200 local members of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá’s Jewellery Cluster. Speaking to the gathering, she outlined challenges facing Colombia in general and the business community specifically, and she pointed to the growing importance and expansion of her country’s jewellery sector.

Colombian industry session features CIBJO panel, looking at how responsible business standards can help jewellery producers break into foreign markets

The morning of the third and final day of the 2018 CIBJO Congress focused on the Colombian jewellery sector with presentations by the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá and the Colombian emerald mining industry. A special panel featuring CIBJO delegates discussed how the Colombian jewellery industry would benefit from adopting responsible business practices.

ISO platinum standard and impact of FTC’s revised jewellery guides debated at Precious Metals Commission

Issues relating to definitions of platinum and gold fineness levels, as well as to the disclosure of rhodium plating, were at the heart of the Precious Metals Commission meeting on the second day of the 2018 CIBJO Congress.

CIBJO Ethics Commission deconstructs the revised jewellery guides of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission

The FTC guides do not have the power of law, although they do attach to a law preventing misleading advertising. The revision process is now closed, but the FTC can reopen consideration of any element of the guides at any time, Ethics Commission President Tiffany Stevens told congress delegates.

Gemmological Commission reveals results of survey of gem labs, which looked at how they differentiate the reporting of natural, synthetic and treated diamonds

The survey showed that the nomenclature used to define the nature of the stones is generally clear, but there remain some inconsistencies in the precise terms used, and whether or not synthetic and treated stones are actually graded.

Soon-to-be launched Precious Corals Online Course at heart of the Coral Commission’s deliberations at the CIBJO Congress

While precious corals are deep-water species, and are not under immediate threat from climate warming and ocean acidification, the commission hopes that the public profile of precious coral jewellery and scientific initiatives taken by its members will raise awareness and provide solutions for the plight of the endangered shallow-water coral reefs.

Pearl Commission discusses the strength of social media marketing to promote industry and consumer education

CIBJO’s Do’s and Do Not’s guide for retailers was also presented during the Pearl Commission session. It is a concise document for industry professionals, reviewing what people who trade in pearls should and shouldn’t do, and it includes a table providing comprehensive information about possible pearl treatments.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s revised guide for the jewelry industry comes under the focus of the Diamond Commission at CIBJO Congress

An overview of the changes that the United States’ FTC published in its jewellery guides are believed by industry groups to be skewed in favour of the synthetic diamond trade. Despite this, the commission did not feel there was any necessity at this stage to amend the Diamond Blue Book.

Coloured Gemstone Commission differentiates between opinions and facts on gemstone reports, Do’s and Dont’s and simplified guides

The dilemma of separating empirical facts and the professional opinion of gemmologists on gemstone reports came under focus in the Coloured Stone Commission, which met on the first day of the 2018 CIBJO Congress.

Blockchain presented to CIBJO Congress, as specialist panel discusses how innovative technology may affect the jewellery industry

The objective of the session was to investigate the significance and possible impacts of Blockchain in general, and more specifically in terms of the technology’s applications in the jewellery and gemstone sectors, from perspectives of defending the chain of supply and as a financial tool.

CIBJO unveils Responsible Sourcing Guidance project, standardising manner in which jewellery and gemstone firms should implement supply-chain due diligence

Philip Olden, head of the CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Guidance Project and President of the new Responsible Sourcing Commission, told the congress that the  mission is to support and provide guidance to all CIBJO members, especially manufacturers, retailers and distributors.

Special CSR Session at 2018 CIBJO Congress focuses on ethical issues facing companies in the supply chain

‘There is no debate in our industry whether we should act and seen to be acting responsibly, be it to our employees, customers, stakeholders and the wider society socially, environmentally and in terms of the way we do business,’ CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri to congress delegates.

In opening speech to 2018 CIBJO Congress, President Gaetano Cavalieri says jewellery industry must adapt to change

Dramatic changes have taken place in the business, technological and geopolitical environments, and the jewellery and gemstone industries need to adapt in order to survive and prosper, the CIBJO President said.

Responsible sourcing in jewellery and gemstones is the primary focus of Opening Session of 2018 CIBJO Congress

The 2018 CIBJO Congress has opened in Bogotá, Colombia, with CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri dispelling what he described as a popularly-held belief that very little changes. The challenge of the industry’s leadership is to identify change and develop adaptive strategies, he said.

CIBJO President calls for the creation of government-monitored chokepoints, to verify integrity of coloured gemstones entering chain of distribution

Gaetano Cavalieri called for the creation of government monitored chokepoints for the coloured gemstone sector, similar to national Kimberley Process Authorities that verify the identity of rough diamonds entering the global pipeline.

2018 CIBJO Congress opens in Bogotá, Colombia, with strong focus on responsible sourcing in the international jewellery sector

This included the introduction of a Responsible Sourcing Guidance document, which will serve as a reference for responsible sourcing practices developed and applied by industry organisations and commercial bodies worldwide, and will come to have the status of a CIBJO Blue Book. To oversee the process, a Responsible Sourcing Commission was established.

CIBJO Congress 2018 set to kick off in Bogotá, Colombia, on October 15, agendas and related documentation now online

With the 2018 CIBJO Congress set to open in Bogotá, Colombia, agendas and related documentation for the various sessions and meetings that will take place during the event have been posted online for downloading.




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