The 2019 CIBJO Congress has taken place 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 attended by about 220 participants, with about 150 flying in from abroad.
Serving as the official venue for the meeting of the CIBJO Assembly of Delegates, the CIBJO Congress gathered together members of national jewellery and gemstone associations from the more than 40 countries and representatives of many of the industry’s most important commercial bodies that are members in the confederation. 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, were discussed and updated. Other subjects on the agenda included laboratory-grown diamonds, Fei Cui, technology and jewellery industry efforts to combat climate change.
The 2019 CIBJO Congress opened in Bahrain, with a call on the jewellery industry by CIBJO President Gaetano to take action on climate change, which he said was not an issue specific to the sector, but it is the “most important story of our time.”
HE Khalid Al Rumaihi, CEO of Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, said that that it established DANAT, Bahrain’s Institute for Pearls and Gemstones in 2017, as part of country’s effort to diversify the economy by reviving its almost 5,000 pearling industry, ending its reliance on oil
The Responsible Sourcing Commission held it first official session on the opening day of the 2019 CIBJO Congress in Bahrain on November 19, after the body was formally established at the conclusion of the CIBJO Congress in Colombia in 2018.
Commission President Udi Sheintal asked the CIBJO Congress participants what type of relationship they believe the long-standing Diamond Commission should have the new Laboratory-Grown Diamond Working Group.
There was intense interest in the first meeting of 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.
CIBJO’s green initiative 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 Commission President Jonathan Kendall.
Some CIBJO members expressed their surprise at the size of the market which is estimated to be worth more than eight billion dollars, making Fei Cui the world’s largest gem category after diamonds. Almost all sales take place in China and other eastern markets.
Commission President Tiffany 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.
DNA fingerprinting is a powerful tool for species identification and possibly geographic determination, and has proven effective in addressing misconceptions that shallow-water reef coral is the same as deep-water precious coral.
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.
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.
Over the past half year, the U.S. government has been signalling its intention to increase scrutiny of the jewellery trade, to ensure that it is complying with Anti-Money Laundering and other measures to prevent malign activity.
It is imperative that the jewellery industry develop a better understanding of where things are headed, rather than having to react to situations brought about by technological developments, about which it often has shown itself to be not well informed, nor prepared, said CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri.
As a reflection of Bahrain’s ancient pearling history and the strong desire to protect this heritage, DANAT was established as the guardian of global gemmological excellence. It plays a vital role in ensuring, protecting and enhancing public trust in pearls, gemstones and jewellery.
Home to one of the world’s most sophisticated gemmological laboratories, DANAT is an authority on industry standards, scientific knowledge and education, and is committed to maintaining the highest standards of professional and personal ethics. It is dedicated supporting the pearl and gemstone industry locally, regionally and internationally, developing a new generation of gemmologists, and providing knowledge and expertise to industry professional and gemmology enthusiasts.
It was established in 2017, under the aegis of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and was formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom.
DANAT’s vision is to become the world’s preferred institute for natural pearls and gemstones’ third-party verification services and scientific research.
2019 CIBJO CONGRESS SPONSORS
CIBJO Congress 2019 in Manama, BahrainTama Benson2019-12-02T13:29:03+00:00
With members of the jewellery and gemstone sectors under growing pressure to actively demonstrate that they are conducting their businesses in a sustainable manner, including verifying that the items they purchase, process and sell have been sourced responsibly, a range of technological solutions are currently being developed to help them comply with the due diligence requirements. These came under the spotlight during a seminar on September 9, 2019, at the VICENZAORO show in Vicenza, Italy, organized by CIBJO and hosted by the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG).
The seminar was the latest edition in a series of educational programmes organized by the two bodies, which is endorsed by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), to support Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability in the jewellery sector. As, Marco Carniello, Director of IEG’s Jewellery and Fashion Division, pointed out, the seminar this September marked the 10th year of cooperation between CIBJO and Italy’s leading jewellery trade show organizer.
A growing percentage of the jewellery, gemstone and precious metals industries have taken steps in recent years to implement sustainable and responsible sourcing principles in their businesses, with more than 1,300 worldwide already certified by compliance organisations, after undergoing monitoring by independent auditors.
But in an industry that is dominated by small and medium-sized companies, many participants find it challenging to follow suit and consequently could experience difficulty in gaining access to chains of supply. The technologies discussed at the seminar are largely being developed to address these challenges.
Marco Carniello (left), Director of IEG’s Jewellery & Fashion Division, and Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO President, opening the seminar in Vicenza on September 9, 2019.
“CIBJO is committed to the development of an ethical and sustainable jewellery industry, which sources its raw materials in both a responsible and transparent manner,” said CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri, opening the seminar. “As we reiterated in the new Responsible Sourcing Blue Book which was approved earlier this year, we believe that all participants should do due diligence to the best of their ability. At the same time, we also insist that no ethical members of our community be discriminated against because they currently lack the resources necessary to implement a full compliance system. It is for this reason that we view the development of technological solutions as being so important.”
The panel of speakers, which was moderated by Erik Jens, vice president of CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Commission, represented a cross section of this growing industry service sector, providing solutions to industry participants at all stages of the chain of distribution, from the mine to the retailer.
Marco Carniello, Director of IEG’s Jewellery and Fashion Division, opening the CIBJO-IEG seminar at the VIZENZAORO show on September 9, 2019. He is joined on the podium (from left)by: Erik Jens, Vice President of CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Commission and the seminar moderator; Michillay Brown, Tracr; Assheton Stuart Carter, The Dragonfly Initiative; Daniel Nyfeler; Gübelin Gem Lab; Konstantin Born, GemFair; Francesca Marino, CIBJO; and Mark Hanna, Richline Group.
Michillay Brown, Industry Transformation, Tracr, United Kingdom
Ms. Brown introduced the De Beers-developed blockchain-powered traceability platform, which uses cutting-edge technology to connect the diamond supply-chain and provide provenance, traceability and authenticity for the diamond industry.
Dr. Assheton Stuart Carter, The Dragonfly Initiative, United Kingdom
As head of the sustainability advisory firm, Dr. Carter and his team are currently developing a suite of online due diligence tools that will be made available free of charge to the jewellery and gemstone industry, as a part of a joint initiative by CIBJO and the Coloured Gemstone Working Group, which Dragonfly facilitates.
Dr. Daniel Nyfeler,Managing Director, Gübelin Gem Lab, Switzerland,
Dr. Nyfeler presented the Gübelin Gem Lab’s Provenance Proof project, a gemstone paternity programme that uses virtually undetectable nano-particles which are embedded in a gemstone, containing identifying information to verify its origin, and then blockchain technology to communicate its provenance through the chain of distribution.
Konstantin Born, Business Development Manager, GemFair, United Kingdom
Mr. Born described the De Beers’ pilot project that aims to create a secure, transparent route to the market for ethically-sourced artisanal and small-scale mined diamonds, where the miners are assured of receiving fair value for their output, using technology to foster the sector’s development as a credible and trusted source of diamond supply.
Mark Hanna, Chief Marketing Officer, Richline Group, USA
Mr Hanna presented the TrustChain Initiative of the Richline Group, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. It tracks and authenticates diamonds and precious metals through every stage of the supply chain, as it becomes a piece of finished jewelry, providing digital verification, physical product and process verification, and third-party oversight.
Francesca Marino, Senior CSR Advisor, CIBJO
Ms. Marino provided CIBJO’s perspective of sustainability and responsible sourcing in the jewellery industry, as it is articulated in the recently approved Responsible Sourcing Blue Book.
Technological solutions for sustainability and responsible sourcing spotlighted at CIBJO-IEG seminar at VICENZAORO September showTama Benson2019-09-13T14:07:20+00:00