The CIBJO Blue Books are definitive sets of grading standards and nomenclature for diamonds, coloured gemstones, pearls, coral, precious metals and gemmological laboratories, and also responsible sourcing practices. They are compiled and are consistently updated by the relevant CIBJO Commissions, whose members include representatives of trade organisations and laboratories active in the diamond, coloured gemstone, pearl, precious metals and jewellery industries.
The standards represented a consensus derived from the broad expertise on the subject within the commissions, and also from individuals outside the commissions who had expressed an interest in participating in the development of the guidelines.
Initially the first three publications were printed with different coloured covers – blue for the Gemstone Book, grey for the Diamond Book, and green for the Pearl Book. Today, these publications are generally referred to as the CIBJO Blue Books. This means that the Introduction will remain open all the time. In 2007, the Precious Metals book was launched, in 2010 the CIBJO Gemmological Laboratory Book was released and in 2015 the CIBJO Coral Book was added to the series..
In almost complete absence of jewellery industry standards endorsed by the International Standards Organisation (ISO), the CIBJO Blue Books are the most widely accepted set of globally accepted standards. In November 2004 the CIBJO Blue Book was relied upon by a panel of three judges in a district court in Munich, Germany, which issued a restraining order to the German distributor of gem-quality synthetic diamonds, to cease using the term “cultured diamonds” when marketing its products to the public. Legal commentators have suggested that since the ruling has taken place within the jurisdiction of a member country of the European Union, the verdict most probably has legal authority in other EU countries.
The application of the Blue Books’ standards is voluntary. However, it is recommended that these standards should apply to all persons, partnerships and corporations at all stages of the jewellery chain of distribution, from the initial sourcing of all industry products up to and including the creation of jewelry and objets d’art, where applicable.
The Blue Books are living documents that are subject to review annually for revision or reaffirmation. Users are advised to determine whether they have the latest edition of the respective Blue Books.
Comments for revision of the Blue Books standards are welcome from any interested party, regardless of membership affiliation with any trade organization or laboratory. Suggestions for changes in documents should be in the form of a proposed change of text, together with appropriate supporting comments.
All suggestions should be sent to the CIBJO Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org