CIBJO General Assembly in Vicenza, Italy, postponed to March 17 and 18, 2022

JANUARY 4, 2022

CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has announced that the gathering of its General Assembly, which had been scheduled to take place in Vicenza, Italy, on January 24 and 25, has been postponed to Thursday, March 17, and Friday, March 18. It will be held at the same venue.

The announcement comes after the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG), which will be hosting the CIBJO event, said that it is postponing its January VICENZAORO trade show to March 17-21, 2022, as a result of the global upsurge in COVID-19 infections that currently underway. The meeting of CIBJO General Assembly will take place in the Vicenza Exposition Centre concurrently with the trade show.

The CIBJO General Assembly will be the closing session of the 2021 Virtual CIBJO Congress, which took place over eight days from November 4 to 8 and November 15 to 18. It will be a hybrid session, with delegates meeting in person during the show in Vicenza, while the event is simultaneously streamed live to other participants around the world.

“Under the new circumstances, IEG has generously offered to host a rescheduled CIBJO General Assembly session at its show in March, providing the same facilities that it would have done in January,” wrote CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri in a letter to the organisation’s Board of Directors. “Given that we are subject to the same uncertainty concerning travel and public safety, the most prudent decision is to take IEG up on its offer.”

As would have been the case at the show in January, CIBJO will present two seminars at the VICENZAORO show, dealing with responsible sourcing, social activism and sustainability in the jewellery industry. Those will now take place on Saturday, March 19, 2022. They are part of an ongoing programme conducted by IEG and CIBJO to promote such principles in the jewellery sector, which is endorsed by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, where CIBJO has special consultative status.

CIBJO General Assembly in Vicenza, Italy, postponed to March 17 and 18, 20222022-01-04T12:03:11+00:00

CIBJO releases Ethics Commission Special Report, focusing on legal challenge of handling consumer data

NOVEMBER 16, 2021

With the 2021 Virtual CIBJO Congress in its second week, the tenth and last of this year’s CIBJO Special Reports has been released. Prepared by CIBJO’s Ethics Commission, headed by Tiffany Stevens, and co-authored by Miya Owens, Associate Counsel at the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) in the United States, the report looks at the growing challenge of collecting, securing and handling big data, and especially personal data harvested both online and offline from jewellery consumers.

The report is released two days ahead of the final session of the two-week virtual congress on November 18, which will be a joint session of the Ethics Commission and CIBJO’s Marketing & Education Commission, together with CIBJO’s Technology Committee. It will consider the issues covered in the report, and is entitled “Dealing with personal data in the digital and online jewellery trading environment.” To register for the session PLEASE CLICK HERE.

The need for data in the jewellery industry is growing exponentially, as it is in other business sectors, as companies shift more of their activities online and employ targeted marketing software and employ social media to reach consumers. A Harvard Business Review article, quoted by the report, says that organisations with data-driven operations can outperform their peers by an average of 5 percent in productivity and 6 percent in profitability.

But, with the proliferation of data collection, there is a concurrent increase in laws and regulations worldwide promulgated to address the corresponding risks. “While the legal landscape related to data use and protection is rapidly changing, all businesses should be cognisant of the relevant laws and regulations in all jurisdictions where they have physical and digital ties,” the report states. “Gone are the days of only complying with the laws of jurisdictions where a business has a physical presence.”

The report provides an overarching view of developing legal and regulatory frameworks being constructed in various countries and regions, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, which it describes “as the toughest privacy and data security law in the world,” which also is applied extraterritorially, “meaning it may apply to a business located outside of the EU, so long as it offers goods or service to EU customers or monitors the behaviour of EU-based website visitors through web tools such as tracking cookies.”

The comprehensive Ethics Special Report concludes with five specific recommendations for the jewellery sector, designed to minimise the dangers of misusing or mishandling customer and employee personal data.

CIBJO congresses serve as the official gathering place for the World Jewellery Confederation’s global membership, and are also the venue for the annual meetings of CIBJO’s sectoral commissions, where amendments can be introduced to the organisation’s definitive directories of international industry standards for diamonds, coloured stones, pearls, gem labs, precious metals, coral and responsible sourcing, known as the Blue Books.

The CIBJO Congress is also where the programme of World Jewellery Confederation Education Foundation (WJCEF), relating to responsible and sustainable activities in the industry and CIBJO’s ongoing cooperation with the United Nations and its development programme is reported upon.

To download a full copy of the CIBJO Ethics Commission’s special report, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

CIBJO releases Ethics Commission Special Report, focusing on legal challenge of handling consumer data2021-11-16T08:20:06+00:00

CIBJO releases Coral Special Report focusing on gemmological and scientific research

NOVEMBER 10, 2021

With the 2021 Virtual CIBJO Congress already underway, the ninth of this year’s CIBJO Special Reports has been released. Prepared by CIBJO’s Coral Commission, headed by Vincenzo Liverino, the report looks predominantly at research being conducted in the sector, both by gemmologists developing a colour description system, and scientists seeking to revive coral reefs, as well as dating the age of historical stocks and resources.

Mr. Liverino describes a research project to define and describe the colour variations of Mediterranean coral, Corallium rubrum, which was first proposed at the CIBJO Congress in Bahrain in 2019, and subsequently undertaken by the ICA GemLab in Bangkok. It was coordinated by Kenneth Scarratt, a Coral Commission Vice President.

“The goal was to devise a simple and easy to communicate colour description system that would assist both the trade and jewellery consumers,” Mr. Liverino explains.

Among the scientific research efforts examined in the report is a project being conducted by the Kuroshio Biological Research Foundation and the Precious Coral Protection and Development Association in Japan, to transplant coral branches grown in a laboratory back into the ocean. “[I]t it hoped that this will eventually result in the reforestation of the seabed with full sized precious corals within several years,” Mr. Liverino writes.

Another set of research projects has focused on the determining the age of dead coral resources, extracted both from the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic and off the coast of Japan. Carbon-14 dating has shown that much of the material used in precious coral jewellery production to be older than 400 years old, and some dating as far back as 7570 BCE. Indeed, a study by Koshi University in Japan indicated that more than two thirds of precious corals in the Japanese market were not harvested from living colonies.

The CIBJO Coral Commission President urged members of the jewellery industry become carbon neutral, reducing their environmental footprint in the face of global warming and ocean acidification. “Precious corals, reef corals, marine and terrestrial biodiversity and our own survival are at stake. It is our duty to do our share, just because it is the right thing to do,” Mr. Liverino wrote.

CIBJO congresses serve as the official gathering place for the World Jewellery Confederation’s global membership, and are also the venue for the annual meetings of CIBJO’s sectoral commissions, where amendments can be introduced to the organisation’s definitive directories of international industry standards for diamonds, coloured stones, pearls, gem labs, precious metals, coral and responsible sourcing, known as the Blue Books.

The CIBJO Congress is also where the programme of World Jewellery Confederation Education Foundation (WJCEF), relating to responsible and sustainable activities in the industry and CIBJO’s ongoing cooperation with the United Nations and its development programme is reported upon.

To download a full copy of the CIBJO Coral Commission’s special report, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

CIBJO releases Coral Special Report focusing on gemmological and scientific research2021-11-10T10:01:51+00:00

CIBJO releases new edition of Retailers Reference Guide, downloadable free of charge from dedicated website

NOVEMBER 4, 2021

With the 2021 Virtual CIBJO Congress nearing the end of its first week, the World Jewellery Confederation has launched a new website, which will serve as the platform of the second edition of the CIBJO Retailer’s Reference Guide, the valuable in-store resource for sales staff in retail jewellery outlets. Comprehensively updated, the Guide is being made available in interactive PDF format, and can be downloaded free of charge from the website.

The dedicated CIBJO Retailer’s Reference Guide website is located on the web at: www.cibjo.org/rrg/.

The CIBJO Retailer’s Reference Guide was first released in printed format in 2011, and was immediately praised as an indispensable resource for sales staff in retail jewellery stores. It provided them with a simple but comprehensive understanding of the fundamental elements of diamonds, gemstones, pearls and precious metals. The primary goal was that they use the knowledge and the Guide itself to educate, inform and inspire jewellery consumers.

The updated edition of the CIBJO Retailer’s Reference Guide is now all-digital. 154 pages long and richly illustrated, it has two sections: a quick reference guide called Key Facts, and five chapters, covering in greater detail the key jewellery elements, namely Diamonds, Gemstones, Pearls, Precious Metals and Responsible Sourcing. The chapter on Responsible Sourcing is a new addition.

The CIBJO Retailers Guide is divided into two sections: a quick reference guide called Key Facts, and five chapters, covering Diamonds, Gemstones, Pearls, Precious Metals and Responsible Sourcing. It can be accessed or downloaded as a single unit, or by section or chapter.

Like the original, the new edition of the CIBJO Retailer’s Reference Guide was compiled, edited and produced by CIBJO’s Marketing and Education Commission, headed by Jonathan Kendall, working closely with the President of CIBJO’s Sector A, Roland Naftule. They collaborated with CIBJO’s other commissions, as well as with numerous industry experts. Among them were Robert Weldon, Director of the GIA Library, Jonathan Muyal, Orasa Weldon and other GIA staff members, who contributed text and images for the Gemstone chapter, which at 74 pages long is longest section of the Guide.

Using the website, users can access online the full CIBJO Retailer’s Reference Guide, or its six sections individually. Alternatively, they can download them onto their computers or mobile devices, so that the Guide can be referenced and displayed offline. The interactive PDF format allows for easy navigation through its sections and pages.

“The typical user is a jewellery sales representative, who interacts directly with consumers in the store,” explained Jonathan Kendall. “Using a countertop computer or a tablet, they are immediately able to answer and elaborate on almost any question that the consumer may have about an item of jewellery, or the metals and gems of which it is comprised.”

“The Guide is beautifully designed, but it was never intended to be simply a coffee table book,” said Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO President. “It is first and foremost a sales tool, because it nurtures informed consumers, and informed consumers are confident consumers. We invite people to visit the new website, download the CIBJO Retailer’s Reference Guide at no cost, and then use it.”

Examples of pages from the various sections and chapters of the CIBJO Retailer’s Reference Guide.

CIBJO releases new edition of Retailers Reference Guide, downloadable free of charge from dedicated website2021-11-04T05:29:23+00:00

CIBJO releases Coloured Stone Special Report urging a holistic approach to ethical sourcing in sector

NOVEMBER 3, 2021

With the 2021 Virtual CIBJO Congress already underway, the eighth of this year’s CIBJO Special Reports has been released. Prepared by CIBJO’s Coloured Stone Commission, headed by Charles Abouchar, the report looks at issues related to ethical sourcing, and how the principles of responsible supply chain management can be implemented without disenfranchising artisanal and small-scale miners, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

“With the overwhelming majority of rough coloured stones produced by ASM, which in turn channels its supply through a complex trading network that has developed organically over literally hundreds of years, the coloured stone industry is the most fragile structurally in all of the jewellery sectors,” Mr. Abouchar writes. “But literally millions of people rely on the income it generates, many of them living in some of the least developed and most poverty-stricken areas of the world.”

“If we try to impose our ethical value system without integrating the opinion and perspective of the local populations, we are likely to be regarded as imposing a new form of colonialism. This would be counterproductive,” the CIBJO Coloured Stone Commission notes. “Nobody should discount making the utmost effort to have the sourcing of our rough supply be as ethical as possible, but the complex realities of the artisanal mining sector means that we must be nuanced in implementing ethical rules.”

“In my opinion, we need to take a holistic view when developing ethical supply chains,” Mr. Abouchar continues. “In order to meet consumer expectations, we also need to cater to the expectations of those at the supply end, and the communities in the cutting centres as well. Initiatives that fully integrate local populations in the solution are the only way to develop sustainable and ethical sourcing programmes.”

CIBJO congresses serve as the official gathering place for the World Jewellery Confederation’s global membership, and are also the venue for the annual meetings of CIBJO’s sectoral commissions, where amendments can be introduced to the organisation’s definitive directories of international industry standards for diamonds, coloured stones, pearls, gem labs, precious metals, coral and responsible sourcing, known as the Blue Books.

The CIBJO Congress is also where the programme of World Jewellery Confederation Education Foundation (WJCEF), relating to responsible and sustainable activities in the industry and CIBJO’s ongoing cooperation with the United Nations and its development programme is reported upon.

To download a full copy of the CIBJO Coloured Stone Commission’s special report, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

CIBJO releases Coloured Stone Special Report urging a holistic approach to ethical sourcing in sector2021-11-10T09:59:26+00:00

The 2021 Virtual CIBJO Congress gets underway, highlighting jewellery industry’s role in society and the environment

ABOVE: The  panel discussion during the Responsible Sourcing Commission session on November 1, 2021, featuring (from top) Mark Hanna of the Richline Group, Commission President Philip Olden, RJC’s Iris Van der Veken, Nature’s Geometry’s Brian Cook, and Chie Murakami of Diamonds for Peace.

NOVEMBER 2, 2021

For the first time in its 95-year history, CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has launched its annual congress online rather than in a physical location, with an Opening Ceremony followed by a session of the CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Commission, during which a strong emphasis was placed on the jewellery industry’s obligations to society and the environment. The Opening Session took place on November 1, 2021.

“In congresses gone by, I have looked out over a crowded conference hall or auditorium when I said these words of welcome,” said CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri, greeting the congress delegates. “Today, like all of you, I am seated at my desk looking at my computer, just as I have done almost each day for the past 20 months.”

The period of the coronavirus has proven to be an inflection point for the industry, the CIBJO President stated. “There are moments in the human experience where we all realise that it will be possible to define life before the event differently to life as it is after the event. The COVID-19 pandemic is one of those,” he said.