Sector A President Roland Naftule addressing the meeting. He is flanked by the sector’s two vice presidents (from left), Thomas Lind and Gerard Grospiron.
November 7, 2017
Sector A is the division in CIBJO that covers all gem materials, and in particular oversees and coordinates the work of the Diamond, Coral, Gemmological, Pearl and Coloured Stone Commissions. The sector president Roland Naftule, who also is a Vice President of CIBJO, began the annual gathering of the sector by thanking all the commission presidents, and most importantly CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri, for all their hard work.
“There is a lot more work that goes on throughout the year than what we see at the annual congress, so I also wish to thank all the steering committee members,” Mr. Naftule said.
The Sector A President brought up a proposal to keep the commissions’ Blue Books unchanged for two, or possibly three years. He said they should be alternated so that not all five books would come up for revision at the same time. “If there are important changes that need to be made ,then we will make exceptions, and commissions will be able to bring them up any year. But, in general, working on them annually makes the situation overly complicated, and also creates a burden for countries who wish to have the documents translated into their languages.”
“This change will give us time to work on many other projects, and also give us the opportunity to create newly recommended condensed blue books, in addition to having the more detailed official Blue Books. They will be shorter versions that can more easily be used by retailers,” Mr. Naftule said.
It was agreed that the Gemstone Book and the Diamond Book will not be changed for the next three years, but the Coral Book and Pearl Book will be up for revision in two years, and then every three years thereafter. The Gemmological Book will be changed next year and every three years thereafter.
Mr. Naftule read excerpts from a speech he delivered at the 1983 International Precious Stones Congress in Tel Aviv, which he felt remained pertinent today. The speech had dealt with international cooperation, and the problem of communication in coloured stones, which was causing a lot of confusion in the trade and among consumers at the time. It also referred to treatments of gemstones, including irradiation, oiling, and heat-treatments, and the possibility of a media backlash if this was not dealt with properly.
“Communication is understood to mean language in the broadest sense of the word,” Mr. Naftule said, reading from the 1983 speech. “In biblical days, people wanted to know what God was and built the Tower of Babel to find the answer. To punish them for their sin, God made them speak different languages to one another. They had the tools, materials and technology necessary, but lacked the prime ingredient: communication.”
“The carpenter could not communicate with the mason; the mason could not communicate with the stone cutter, and so on. We, too, have the tools, materials and technology to reach our goals, but like our biblical ancestors, we lack communication. We must respond to a changing reality to succeed in our industry. We must build a strong foundation, one of cooperation and communication with reliable information gathered through a systematic application of research methods,” he said.
“Not much has really changed in 34 years and that the problems we are having today are similar to the ones we had then,” Mr. Naftule said, asking “How can Sector A better serve CIBJO?”
It was suggested that more manufacturers, dealers, and retailers should be encouraged to join CIBJO, where congress participation currently is weighed too heavily in favour of gem-related products and gemmologists. Although we are well known in our own circles, in China, for instance, few people in the industry knows of us, and that is also true in the United States, said Mr Naftule.
He also told the meeting of the establishment of two new committees: an Industry rules enforcement committee, which would work under the Ethics Commission; and a CIBJO industry courses development committee which would be under the Marketing and Education Commission. A pilot version will be launched within the Coral Commission and will later be presented to other commission steering committees to see how it can be adapted to their bodies.
At the end of the meeting, Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association President Boonkij Jitngamplang thanked CIBJO for holding the Congress in Thailand. “Our aims are in line with CIBJO on a whole range of industry issues, and we are looking forward to working closely with CIBJO in the future,” he said.