Describing itself as the “United Nations of the jewellery business,” CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, represents the interests of all individuals, organisations and companies earning their livelihoods from jewellery, gemstones and precious metals. It is the oldest international organization in jewellery sector, having originally been established in 1926.
With its membership made up largely by national jewellery trade organizations from more than 40 countries around the world, CIBJO covers the entire jewellery, gemstone and precious metals sectors vertically, from mine to marketplace, and horizontally within each of the component sectors in the various production, manufacturing and trading centres. Most of the international jewellery sector’s leading corporations and service providers are also affiliated to CIBJO through commercial membership.
In 2006, CIBJO became the only organisation in the international diamond, gemstone and jewellery sectors ever to receive official consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. Based on Article 71 of the UN Charter, the status enables CIBJO, on behalf of the international gemstone and jewellery industries, to advance the programmes and goals of the United Nations by serving as a technical expert, adviser and consultant to governments and the UN Secretariat.
The organisation is today headquartered in Milan, Italy, and its president is Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri, an Italian national who has served in the position since being elected for the first time in March 2001.
CIBJO serves to protect its constituents from factors that threaten the confidence of consumers in the jewellery industry, as well as factors that threaten the confidence of consumers in the jewellery item itself. CIBJO acts to uphold consumer confidence by supporting initiatives and programmes that address threats such as conflict diamonds and coloured gemstones; money laundering; questionable gemmological and assaying standards, and fraudulent hallmarks; health issues, particular as they may arise in the mine or factory; damage to the environment; and employment practices, particularly where the hiring of children is involved.
The harmonisation of industry standards has been a critical element of CIBJO’s mission, and has stood at the heart of its effort to protect the confidence of consumers in the jewellery product itself. To advance the goal of universal standards and terminology in the jewellery industry, CIBJO developed its Blue Book system, which involves definitive set of standards for the grading, methodology and nomenclature of diamonds, coloured gemstones, pearls and other organic materials, precious metals and gemmological laboratories.
At is annual CIBJO Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, in March 2007, CIBJO’s General Assembly approved the Cape Town Declaration, which committed the international jewellery industry to creating programmes that will help realise the eight Millennium Development goals, as introduced by former UN Secretary General Kofi Anan in the year 2000.
With the involvement of the United Nation, CIBJO established in 2008 World Jewellery Confederation Education Foundation (WJCEF), whose mission it is to finance and administer educational programmes to promote the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility throughout the greater jewellery industry worldwide.