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

ABOVE: CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri (far left), addressing the CIBJO Congress during the session at which the Laboratory-Grown Diamond Working Group presented its guidance document. He is joined on the podium by several working group members (from left): Wesley Hunt, chairperson, Thierry Silber, Andrey Zharkov and Daniel Nyfeler.

NOVEMBER 21, 2019

The 2019 CIBJO Congress has concluded in Bahrain, with the World Jewellery Confederation’s Board of Directors voting to establish a series of new committees, among them one that will be dedicated to establishing operating practices that are specific to the laboratory-grown diamond trade, and another which will focus on the long-term impacts of new technologies on the jewellery, gemstone and precious metals sectors.

The annual congress was held this year 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 hosted by DANAT, Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones. The congress was attended by about 220 participants, with about 150 flying in from abroad.

According to the decision by the board, the Laboratory-Grown Diamond Committee will operate under the umbrella of the CIBJO’s Diamond Commission. It is being created from an ad hoc working group, which was established at the 2018 CIBJO Congress in Colombia, and over the past year prepared a guidance document that was presented at a highly anticipated and packed session at the gathering in Bahrain. The working group included CIBJO officers and officials, representatives both the laboratory-grown diamond sector, the natural diamond sector and a leading gemmological laboratory.

CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri (fifth from left) thanking Noora Jamsheer (second from left), CEO of DANAT, the congress host, and other members of the staff of the Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones, during the gala dinner on November 18, 2019.

CIBJO’s objective in creating the Laboratory-Grown Diamond Committee, said its President, Gaetano Cavalieri, was to establish a proposal for a set of working rules that will enable the natural and laboratory-grown diamond sectors to work alongside each other, enabling both to grow and flourish, not at the expense of the other, while maintaining the consumer’s trust and confidence.

“The time has come to reach a modus operandi that is acceptable to all of us,” Dr. Cavalieri stated. “Unnecessary effort and time have been wasted through mutual recrimination, and it ultimately it is in the interests of all sides to develop a mutually agreed-to framework that would prevent problematic incidents, such as the mixing of parcels of natural and laboratory-grown diamonds without disclosing the fact to consumers.”

The new Technology Committee will draw on expertise from across the jewellery sector, with the goals of developing understandings of the disruptive technologies that are likely to impact the industry in coming years.

Among them is Artificial Intelligence (AI), which could be transformative for the jewellery and gemstone sector, because it takes over decision-making functions that to date have been performed by people. With a capacity to have positive impacts, in that it could create systems that are able to analyse consumer demand and then optimize the production of raw materials, the types, qualities and quantities of gemstones being cut, and the range of jewellery being produced, there also are more sinister aspects, such as reduced autonomous decision-making and invasions of privacy of both members of industry and consumers.

CIBJO Congress delegates during a session of the World Jewellery Confederation’s annual gathering, this November in Bahrain.

“It is imperative that we develop an understanding of where things are headed, rather than having to react to situations brought about by technological developments, when we are less informed and less prepared,” explained Dr. Cavalieri. “For a long while our industry continued to operate according to rules and systems that seldom changed, but that is no longer the case. CIBJO needs to better informed, and we must then pass that knowledge onto our members and stakeholders. This will be the role of the Technology Committee.”

The CIBJO Board of Directors additionally decided to establish a third new committee, which will be charged with fundraising for the World Jewellery Confederation.

2019 was an election year for CIBJO, with a new Board of Directors being sworn in and the confederation’s President, Dr. Cavalieri, being confirmed for another two-year term in office. Two new vice presidents were elected to serve along the CIBJO’s long-time Vice President Roland Naftule. They are Jonathan Kendall of the De Beers Group of Companies and Pramod Agarwal, the current Chairman of India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.

The annual CIBJO Congress is the official venue for the meeting of the CIBJO Assembly of Delegates, at which gathers the members of national jewellery and gemstone associations from about 45 countries and representatives of many of the industry’s most important commercial bodies. 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, are discussed and updated.

For comprehensive reports of each CIBJO Congress 2019 session, photo galleries speeches and presentations and commission special reports, please visit the dedicated website by CLICKING HERE.

By |2019-11-21T06:26:35+00:00November 21st, 2019|NEWS|Comments Off on CIBJO Congress 2019 wraps up in Bahrain with creation of Laboratory-Grown Diamond and Technology Committees

Definitions of gem varieties focus of Coloured Stone Commission in Bahrain

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.

By |2019-11-20T15:46:06+00:00November 20th, 2019|NEWS|Comments Off on Definitions of gem varieties focus of Coloured Stone Commission in Bahrain

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

ABOVE: Precious Metals Commission President  Huw Daniel (right) chairing the body’s session at the CIBJO Congress in Bahrain on November 19, 2019. He is joined on the podium by Karina Ratzlaff (centre), Vice President of the Precious Metasl Commission, and Tiffany Stevens, President of the Ethics Commission.

NOVEMBER 20, 2019

Over the past half year, the U.S. government, led by the State Department, has been signalling its intention to carry out government’s increased scrutiny of the jewellery trade, to ensure that it is complying with Anti-Money Laundering and other measures to prevent malign activity.

During the session of the Precious Metals Commission at the 2019 CIBJO Congress on November 19, the body’s president, Huw Daniel, invited Ethics Commission President and Jewelers Vigilance Committee CEO and President Tiffany Stevens to present a report on the situation as it effects the precious metals sector in the United States.

The US State Department is considering origin sourcing and compliance, she said, adding that companies will need to show full documentation. “That sounds fantastical,” she commented. “It sounds great in theory, but impossible to implement.”

“The worst case scenario would be making it a reality, especially if it was announced by Presidential Executive Order and not via a policy decision since that would give us less time to react.

“There could also be a punitive part in failing to comply. I am not being dramatic. This has been told to us.”

Meanwhile, the best case scenario would be if the JVC knows what is in policymakers’ minds. “In general, we would recommend a strong anti-money laundering (AML) programme. Be part of the Responsible Jewellery Council’s (RJC) certification programme or a third-party programme that shows you are operating correctly and in good faith,” she added.

Moving on, Mr Daniel said the Commission has been updating the Blue Book which was last reviewed in 2010. In addition, it has canvassed all countries on the fineness standards used.

In comments from the floor, it was reported that the European Chemical Agency has proposed changes relating to the handling of silver which will create problems regarding the manufacture of silver jewellery. The European Precious Metals Association has criticised the proposal on the basis of the weakness of the data supporting the proposed changes.

By |2019-11-20T15:16:31+00:00November 20th, 2019|NEWS|Comments Off on Precious Metals Commission considers consequences of increasing government scrutiny in the United States

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

ABOVE: Gemmological Commission President  Hanco Zwaan chairing the body’s session at the CIBJO Congress in Bahrain on November 19, 2019.

NOVEMBER 20, 2019

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.

Gemmological Commission President Hanco Zwaan opened the body’s session at the 2019 CIBJO Congress on November 19 with a report on a commercial colour-terms guidance document which the Commission launched last year. It aims to map colour terms used to describe certain colours of ruby and sapphire.

On the issue of definitions of gem varieties, Mr Zwaan said that it is a clear that a definition does not exist. “It is a vast and complicated issue, but we agreed to look into it and set some minimum definition and then work from the easiest distinctions to the most difficult.”

Information has been added over the past year and the commercial colour-terms guidance document now reflects the positions of a number of important labs. It includes an attempt to show where the respective colours approximately lie referring to the Munsell colour charts.

Mr Zwaan told the meeting that the report provides information on commercial colours and terms, such as Pigeons Blood red, which are used by different labs. There are no international standards on the terms, but it is hoped there can be harmonisation regarding the terms, he stated.

“We tried to make an informative document and listed info from the SSEF and Gübelin labs,” he commented, adding that it also provides the positions on the issues of the GIA, Thailand’s GIT and the GRS, and a summary comparing the different labs’ positions.

“It is our intention to include the positions of more laboratories,” he added

Guillermo Galvis, President of ACODES in Colombia, reported on emerald harmonisation seminar that he attended in Hong Kong which dealt with emerald standards and future trends. He said that he took part in a dialogue with stakeholders in June and with lab representatives in September.

Mr Zwaan said: “Such dialogue is important and we must keep doing it. We need to look for comprehensive ways of raising standards to make it easier for consumers.”

Moving on, Mr Zwaan said there were no major amendments to the Blue Book, and they will only be implemented in 2021.

By |2019-11-20T10:58:48+00:00November 20th, 2019|NEWS|Comments Off on Gemmological Commission focuses on update of commercial colour-terms guidance document

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

ABOVE: Pearl  Commission President Kenneth Scarratt addressing the body’s meeting at the CIBJO Congress on November 20. He is flanked by Jeremy Shepherd  (left) of the Cultured Pearl Association of America’s (CPAA) and Shigeru Akamatsu, Pearl Commission Vice President.

NOVEMBER 20, 2019

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.

Just prior to the congress, the Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) sent a letter suggesting that the term “cultured” could lead consumers to believe that they were laboratory-created. They asked that it be deleted from the CIBJO Blue Book rules as a required qualifier.

However, following lengthy discussions, the CPAA withdrew its request to delete the word “cultured” as a qualifying term for “cultured pearls” but suggested that the term “farmed” be introduced into the Pearl Book, as an alternative to the use of “cultured.”

According to the CPAA proposal, the terms “cultured” or “farmed” shall be used to describe pearl created with human intervention. These words shall be conspicuous and immediately precede the word “pearl”. The English term “farmed pearl” may be used synonymously with cultured pearl, however where there is no acceptable local direct translation of the English terms “cultured pearl” or “farmed pearl”, then only the translation of the term cultured pearl shall be used.

CIBJO Commission President Kenneth Scarratt pointed out that the letter from CPAA had been sent electronically and was not received within the 90-day time-frame required by CIBJO’s for a resolution to be considered. Consequently, no immediate action will be taken.

“CIBJO’s main concern is consumer confidence and whatever the result of our talks we must concentrate on that,” Mr Scarratt said.

Another agenda item involved Keshi terminology.

Mr  Scarratt told the Commission meeting that the first mention of Keshi was in 1883, and it referred specifically to  small natural pearls in Japanese waters.

“It is a fact that the pearling industry has corrupted the usage of the original Japanese term ‘Keshi’ in common with many other words within the English and other languages, and we need more clearly to redefine its use in the Pearl Book.

He suggested that saltwater non-bead cultured pearls of any size should be termed “(optionally the name of the producing mollusk) keshi cultured pearls” when produced in and around the gonad in cultured pearl sacs, regardless of the producing mollusc.”

Saltwater natural pearls of less than 2 millimetres in size should be termed “natural seed” pearls when produced in naturally formed pearl sacs, regardless of the producing mollusk

Mr Scarratt then went over other amendments to the Pearl Book all of which were accepted by the commission.

By |2019-11-21T08:22:39+00:00November 20th, 2019|NEWS|Comments Off on Pearl Commission focuses on American request to reconsider use of word’ cultured,’ as well as Keshi terminology

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

ABOVE: CIBJO’s Coral Commission in session on November 20, at the 2019 CIBJO Congress in Bahrain.

NOVEMBER 20, 2019

The increasing use of DNA sequencing technology jewellery sector was focused during the Coral Commission session at the CIBJO Congress on November 19, with the body’s Vice President, Kenneth Scarratt giving a presentation on an ongoing project taking place at different laboratories.

The Coral Commission’s President is Vincenzo Liverino.

DNA fingerprinting is a powerful tool for species identification and possibly geographic determination, and has proven effective if addressing misconceptions that reef coral is the same as precious coral. Most of the DNA analysis has been outsourced to university labs that specialise in it.

“We have had some good results regarding the species of the specimens submitted.,” Mr Scarratt noted. “Work done at DANAT has shown that trace element analysis can determine the species or at least confirm that DNA analysis conforms. However, it is time consuming and expensive work.”

Meanwhile, a second Coral Commission Vice President, Rui Galopim de Carvalho, discussed proposed edits to the CIBJO Coral Blue Book. “We did some significant changes that were proposed to the Steering Committee. Most changes related to terms and definitions.”

The Commission also looked at the issue of carbon neutrality, which can be achieved by purchasing carbon credits that offset greenhouse gas emission.  Mr. Liverino explained the financial and environmental benefits of taking part in the CIBJO-led Greenhouse Gas Measurement Initiative project.

“What have companies actually done to achieve it? Goal 13 of the UN SDGs is Climate Action – in other words doing something and not just talking. It’s a question of the planet’s health. It is gaining increasing public awareness. Move from heating from fuel to gas, become more energy efficient, be aware of best business practices, pay a carbon tax, and consider an environmental budget. This requires urgent action,” Mr Galopim de Carvalho said.

Mr Galopim de Carvalho also gave an update on CIBJO’s Precious Corals Online Course. The final proposal for the programme  was finalised and submitted last year to the CIBJO Board of Directors, he said, but it need revising before it can be released.

By |2019-11-20T10:48:02+00:00November 20th, 2019|NEWS|Comments Off on DNA fingerprinting report becomes focus of discussion during Coral Commission session in Bahrain

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

ABOVE: Ethics Commission President Tiffany Stevens making a point during the body’s meeting at the CIBJO Congress on November 20. To  her left is Sara Yood, senior legal counsel at the Jewelers Vigilance Committee in the United States.

NOVEMBER 20, 2019

CIBJO Ethics Commission President Tiffany Stevens, who also serves as President and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) in the United States, and Sara Yood, the JVC’s senior legal counsel, led the body’s session at the 2019 CIBJO Congress in Bahrain on November 19, providing a comprehensive update on ethical behaviour in trading, and concerns about the gold supply chain.

Ms 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, and well as advertising and disclosure standards.

“We hope that when you you speak with your suppliers, press them to ensure you know who they deal with,” she said. “It’s to stay out of trouble in any legal cases, but also to pass on ethical behaviour to the next generation.”

She spoke about detection machines for natural and synthetic diamonds. “It’s good that they are evolving and available, but keep in mind that some people are making machines that are not ethical. So you have to do your homework.”

Ms Stevens spoke about a three-step process for ethical disclosure. First is due diligence of your supply chain, which may or may not include appropriate third-party audits; secondly, comprehensive internal risk assessment based on the findings from the due diligence, thirdly, clear and effective communication on these results to the next party to receive the goods.

Moving on to concerns in the gold supply chain, Ms Yood said there are three main issues: illegal gold mining damaging the environment which is sometimes on protected conservation or indigenous land; illegal gold entering the legitimate supply chain; and the use of mercury in mining processes.

She explained that there have been many stories in the media on the issue. “Some speak of blood gold,” she said, adding that there is widespread use of mercury which is causing health problems.

The artisanal sector is largest emitter of mercury which is resulting in the destruction of natural habitats.

Ms Yood said there are current initiatives addressing the gold issue using traceable gold supply chains. Traceable gold supply chains include Fairmined, Fairtrade, 100% recycled, the CRAFT code which uses the OECD due diligence guidelines, and IMPACT’s Just Gold. In addition, there is the RJC Chain of Custody and the Trustchain and Tracr blockchain systems.

There are many  challenges in the gold supply chain. Traceable gold supply can be inconsistent; miners need financial, legal and technical investment to advance; and some countries have halted mining on land lived in by indigenous people altogether. This prevents them from using their own natural resources and sustaining their people.

Ms Stevens said that in the United States there is increased scrutiny by the State Department of the gold supply chain, brought about by a risk that the gold supply chain is being used for money laundering and terrorist financing. Implementation of AML regulations is still inconsistent, she added.

There is no international body dealing with gold supply chain issues, she stated. The JVC is planning a Gold Circle, which will be informal working group that addresses U.S. market issues

Problems in the gold supply chain could possibly be addressed in the Responsible Sourcing and Precious Metals commissions, she stated.

By |2019-11-20T10:45:20+00:00November 20th, 2019|NEWS|Comments Off on Ethical practices and gold supply chain concerns focus of CIBJO Ethics Commission

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

ABOVE: Kent Wong, Managing Director of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group and chairman of the Hong Kong Jewellers & Goldsmiths Association, addressing the special Fei Cui Session in Bahrain.

NOVEMBER 20, 2019

The development and deep significance of the market in Fei Cui, which is known as jade and jadeite in the West, was presented in a special session by Dr Edward Liu, Vice Chairman of the Gemmological Association of Hong Kong (GAHK), and Kent Wong, Managing Director of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group and chairman of the Hong Kong Jewellers & Goldsmiths Association.

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

Mr Wong spoke about the deep and ancient role played by Fei Cui in Eastern traditions for thousands of years. The stone signifies blessings and is passed on as a family treasure.

“Instead of saying jadeite we say Fei Cui so it is well understood in the trade and among customers,” he explained.

“Since the Qing dynasty, the Chinese people have loved this stone and there are many examples of jewellery set with it from that the late Qing and Republican period. Some items have sold for millions of dollars at auctions by Sotheby’s and Christie’s, and auction prices have risen continuously.

“But it should also be pointed out that for daily wear with price points that are affordable. In addition, there are examples of jewellery combining east and west, set with Fei Cui and other stones,” Mr Wong added.

He said that international labs, such as SSEF and Gübelin, have issued reports on jadeite where they say that jadeite may also be called Fei Cui in the trade.

“New markets and business models as well as direct sales by smartphone in China are bringing business to a higher level. This is also creating more jobs across the board – from night markets to online and at large commercial markets. In southern China, looking at employment only in rough Fei Cui, we see that it has more than doubled and that doesn’t include the wholesale and retail sectors which provide more jobs.”

Dr Edward Liu provided an exhaustive explanation of the history of Fei Cui in China and said that in Mainland China and Hong Kong, the name Fei Cui is well defined and embedded in law.

“We believe that Fei Cui is another important gemstone, just like diamonds, ruby, sapphire and so on,” he said. “We encourage jewellery design competitions so that its beauty is appreciated widely and so that responsible business opportunities worldwide can be secured. In this respect, we believe that CIBJO can be the driver, and we would propose the creation of a Fei Cui Blue Book.”

Following the presentations, Sector A President Roland Naftule said that he had learned that the value of the sales of the gemstone was in the billions of dollars which is more than most of the gemstones with which members are familiar.

“China is a tremendous consumer of our products so we have to bring our friends from China into CIBJO and work closely with them so that the product is marketed similarly throughout the world and Fei Cui is used and popularised across the world as that is the name in China. We will not conclude now what is going to happen. This will be put forward for further discussion within CIBJO.”

By |2019-11-20T10:39:28+00:00November 20th, 2019|NEWS|Comments Off on CIBJO Congress conducts special Fei Cui special session, looking to create international standards for trade in jade products

Environmental concerns take centre stage at Marketing and Education Commission meeting

ABOVE: The Marketing and Eduction Commission in session: (from left) Jonathan Kendall, Chairman; environmental consultant Moya McKeown; Vincenzo Liverino and Rui Galopim de Carvalho.

NOVEMBER 19, 2019

Marketing and Education Commission President Jonathan Kendall concentrated on the environment during the meeting, giving the example of De Beers’ actions to emphasise the importance and range of changes that companies can make to slash their carbon footprints. He expressed his hope that more companies would do so.

He spoke of the Jewellery Industry Greenhouse Gas Measurement (GHG) Initiative, and showed a quote from Bank of England Governor who said that firms and industries that are not moving to lower their carbon emissions will be punished by investors and go bankrupt.

CIBJO’s green initiative, which was launched in 2014, across the whole jewellery pipeline 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 Mr Kendall.

Moya McKeown, an environmental consultant with Carbon-Expert, said the primary aim is to help companies understand the impact they have on the environmental while also securing the long-term future of firms in the jewellery sector. She told the meeting about the Jewellery Industry GHG measurement initiative Carbon Management Programme which enables firms to cut their environmental impact.

She said that companies could fairly easily measure their carbon footprint by looking at their operations overall. This includes the amount of electricity used in their buildings, fuel used by company cars and distribution vehicles, and in other operations in the supply chain.

“There are practical steps,” she said. Regarding emissions, you can choose which vehicles and factory/office heating fuel you use and if you can change and reduce it. In responsible sourcing, what is the effect on climate change if you can’t get the materials. Then there is the issue of affordable and clean energy – move to renewables from fossil fuels and look for energy efficiencies in your organisation.

“Be mindful about water usage, business travel, recyclable packaging that does not need to be sent to a landfill, employees commuting to work rather than taking public transport. It’s not always possible to make the changes, but do the initial measurement to see where changes can be made,” she added.

Meanwhile, Mr Kendall, President of De Beers Group Industry Services, said that without the CIBJO green initiative, “We wouldn’t have made all the changes. It has led me and my team to measure all the details and made us hugely aware of our carbon footprint. First understand it, and then look for ways to reduce it. It’s very motivating and I think it will be legislated soon so we want to be ahead of the curve.”

The changes include working with suppliers, improving data accuracy and quality, and staff engagement. Solar panels have been installed and there has been a big fall in carbon dioxide emissions through more efficient heating systems.’

“At De Beers , we strongly believe in leaving a positive legacy. Protect the natural world, institute ethical practices across the industry, standing with empowerment and education for girls and women, recovering carbon emissions by using technology to store carbons in rocks. The kimberlite that is dug out can store carbon dioxide which is incredible,” he said.

Mr Kendal and Ms McKeown were joined on stage by Coral Commission President and Vice President, Enzo Liverino and Rui Galopim de Carvalho. Having seen the effect of climate change on the oceans and the bleaching of coral reefs, the two men had really become strong proponents of the green initiative, Mr Kendal said.

Mr Liverino said that he had seen lower business expenses as a result of the Jewellery Industry Greenhouse Gas Measurement Initiative. “It costs relatively little and, after a short time, I get the money back through the savings I have made.”

Meanwhile, Mr Galopim de Carvalho commented: “It’s not just about our business but about our lives.”

By |2019-11-20T08:03:41+00:00November 19th, 2019|NEWS|Comments Off on Environmental concerns take centre stage at Marketing and Education Commission meeting

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

ABOVE: CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri addressing the  Laboratory-Grown Diamond Working Group. On the podium (from left) are Wesley Hunt, Chairman, Thierry Silber, Andrey Zharkov and Daniel Nyfeler.

NOVEMBER 19, 2019

There was intense interest in the first meeting of the Laboratory-Grown Diamond Working 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.”

He emphasized that the document the group presented was purely a draft for full and complete consultation by CIBJO members. The goal of the session was to introduce draft Laboratory-Grown Diamond Guidelines and ratify next steps to setting up a commission and a possible Blue Book for clear product differentiation.

“There are clear ground rules,” Mr. Hunt explained: “The primary goal of the Laboratory-Grown Diamond Working Group (LGDWG) is to protect consumer confidence. Secondly, to ensure consumer confidence that the consumer must receive complete and unambiguous information about what they are buying (i.e. a natural diamond or a laboratory-grown diamond), so that they can make a consciously informed purchasing decision. And, thirdly, such principles should be carried out with mutual consideration by all sides, so as not to harm the natural or laboratory-grown diamond sectors in marketing their respective products.”

In addition to Mr. Hunt, the working group included Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO President; Thierry Silber, Madestone; Andrey Zharkov, Ultra C; Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Diamond Producers Assocation (DPA); and Daniel Nyfeler, Gübelin Gem Lab. Steven Benson, CIBJO’s Communications Director, provided support.

The group held regular conference calls over a 10-month period, and it met face-to-face twice in Milan on two occasions. Over this period the draft document was created.

In a document prepared by the group they wrote: “A stated goal of the working group is to create a framework by which the laboratory grown diamond industry would become recognized as a bona fide sector within CIBJO and the greater jewellery industry, while at the same time protecting the interests of the other sectors of the industry. The working group would include CIBJO officers and officials, representatives both the laboratory grown diamond sector and the natural diamond sector, and gemmological laboratories .

“Pending approval by the CIBJO Board of Directors, it is intended that the Laboratory Grown Diamond Working Group become recognized as a fully fledged Laboratory Grown Diamond Commission, and then within a year of its approval that the guideline document may be ratified as the Laboratory Grown Diamond Book.”

CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri told the packed meeting that the group had produced a document that will be discussed and amended. “It’s important that we have something on the table that we need to discuss. We have to work together closely. It’s kind of a white paper and we will all cooperate to reach rules and that is important. Clearly, we need much more work beyond what has been produced so far. Sector A will discuss it and take it to the board of directors. The main aim is to avoid consumer confusion.

“I must stress that there is no fait accompli here. There can never be such a thing under my leadership. This is the first stage in the discussion. Please send all your comments to the Working Group.”

International Grown Diamond Association Secretary-General Dick Garard was invited to speak on the subject. “We think the US Federal Trade Commission guidelines enable both natural and LGD to exist. We hope that a document will be produced that can take this issue forward.”

Meanwhile, World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) President Ernie Blom raised his concerns regarding the new Laboratory-Grown Diamond Working Group. “I have three concerns: the way that the synthetic manufacturers are running down the diamond industry; the potentially huge problem where unethetical behavior could create problems with consumers who might one day sell an item set with diamonds and find out that they are synthetics; and a new issue where synthetics might be grown around naturals. Does that mean there will be a day when we won’t be able to detect these stones?”

By |2019-11-26T13:15:30+00:00November 19th, 2019|NEWS|Comments Off on Laboratory-Grown Diamond Working Group presents blueprint for set of working principles for new industry sector
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