ABOVE: The presidium of CIBJO’s Coloured Stone Commission during the body’s session at the 2019 CIBJO Congress (from left): Nilam Alawdeen, Vice President; Charles Abouchar, President; and Emmanuel Piat, Vice President.
NOVEMBER 20, 2019
“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 on November 19. He said there have been numerous discussions, but no clear definitions.
“There are several areas where it is not possible scientifically to state the difference,” he stated.
“The issue derives from the fact that a lot of results on reports are lab opinions. We are looking for as much harmonisation as possible, but it’s always subjective. We should have scientific results separated from opinions, but this is harder to achieve than I thought. Everything quickly becomes an opinion because it’s a human eye making the decision.”
Thomas Lind, the Vice President of CIBJO’s Sector A, which covers gem meterials, spoke about a presentation he made to the Coloured Stone Commission’s Steering Committee about the separation of opinions from facts on gemstone reports. “I was asked to look into the scientific background but pure science can’t help us.
Commission Vice President Nilam Alawdeen said: “This is not an attack on the labs; the trade makes use of the terms as stated. There is no industry standard, but the consumer may think that it is. We are engaging with the labs to try and find a solution.”
Tony Brook of the Thai Gems and Jewellery Trade Association commented that all the labs have their own commercial interests for making the decisions they do.
Meanwhile, Henry Ho said that most labs do not explain why they make the decisions that they do on their reports. “No lab wants to openly share their decision-making. I remember that the GIA discussed this issue 28 years ago and we are still in the same position today. We must remember that this is a business and the labs have to protect their business.”
Saidf Daniel Nyfeler of the Gübelin Gem Lab in Switzerland: “We will be providing the raw data to clients for the basis of our conclusions. This will show how robust the data is.”
Moving on, Mr Alawdeen told the commission about a mini version of the Colored Stone Blue book that has been optimised for mobile phones called the CIBJO Gemstone Mini Guide, which will be brought forward to the Board of Directors for authorisation.
“The idea is for all the information to be made available on the mobile. This makes it easily accessible. That was the thinking behind it. It provides a mobile accessible format for retailers as well as for people on the go such as travelling salespeople. It is a condensed form of the blue book which is a huge work that is why we want a simplified version.”
Mr Abouchar also mentioned the issue of the CIBJO Retailers Guide which is 10 years old and that the gemstones section needs to be updated.
Sector A President Roland Naftule said that the Coloured Gemstone Commission’s work should be completed in the next two the three months when it will be passed on to Marketing and Education Commission President Jonathan Kendall who will compile this by next June.
There was also a discussion of the importance and scope of disclosure of treatments. Mr Naftule said that one of his biggest concerns over the years was how to communicate treatments as best as possible. “We have been talking about this for 35 to40 years. There is one way to protect consumers, and that is to tell the truth. There’s nothing hideous about disclosures, but only in not disclosing them. It is our duty to properly disclose whatever the situation.”
It was also suggested from the floor that can treatments be communicated in a positive manner rather than the negative way that is often the case.