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ICA Congress Sees Biggest Turnout, Largest Number of Speakers and Delegates

The event gathered 370 delegates from 26 countries.

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(PRESS RELEASE) BANGKOK – The 19th International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) Congress, which took place in Bangkok from October 12-15, saw its largest ever turnout in its more than 30-year history.

The event, which gathered 370 delegates from 26 countries, including the world’s leading gemologists, miners, retailers, gem dealers and jewelry designers at the Shangri-La hotel, staged discussions about pressing issues facing the industry, such as responsible sourcing and challenges faced by artisanal and small-scale miners, as well as industrial mining.

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“We are delighted to have seen the biggest ever participation by industry experts from around the world at this year’s Congress in Bangkok,” said Prida Tiasuwan, chairman, ICA Congress 2019.

“The increasing diversity of the organization is reflected in the largest ever presence of female delegates and speakers at this year’s event.”

The event also announced plans to introduce a new membership status called “Accredited Ethical Member” via an application coinciding with membership renewal each year.

The ICA Congress, usually held every two years, enables industry experts to share their latest knowledge and insights with members of the trade, industry professionals and media.

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The ICA selected Thailand, the global hub for colored gemstones, to be the first country to host its Congress for the third time, in 1987, 2005 and now 2019. The first event was held in Idar Oberstein, Germany in May 1985.

The ICA Congress this year received sponsorship from colored gemstone businesses from Thailand, Gemfields and the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT).

“The 19th ICA Congress attracted leading speakers in the colored gemstone industry from around the world, including Sean Gilbertson, Alberto Milani, Bill Boyajian, Susan Jacques, Gaetano Cavalieri and top executives from retailers Chow Tai Fook and Lao Feng Xiang, among many others,” said Santpal Sinchawla, ICA Secretary and Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Congress.

The seminar program included panel discussions about digital marketing, featuring speakers such as Amedeo Scognamiglio, of Amedeo Jewelry, Benjamin Guttery of Third Coast Gem.

Challenges facing jewelry designers, with speakers such as Fulvio Scavia and Paula Crevoshay.

For the first time a Congress had a panel of past presidents, which 5 of the past 9 presidents, Roland Naftule, Sadaharu Fujita, Paolo Valentini, Israel Eliezri and Benjamin Hackman.

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A panel on the four major gem trading countries in Asia consisted of Santpal Sinchawla from Thailand, Pramod Kumar Agrawal from India, Altaf Iqbal from Sri Lanka and Dr. Lu Ren from China.

The event also had a panel of Young Entrepreneurs from Thailand, giving a peak into the future of the industry with Anurak Sinchawla, Billie Hughes, Maria Belmont and Veeraya Tritonan as the panelist.

A 2 hour session on Responsible Gemstone Sourcing was moderated by Jean Claude Michelou and curated by Prida Tiasuwan. The session consisted of talks by Charles Lawson, Cedric Simonet and a panel session with Stephan Reif, Rui Galophim, Warren Boyd as panelists.

ICA also formally launched its CSR initiative ‘Gems Keep Giving’ at the Congress.

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GN Diamond Appeals to Millennials with an In Store Cool Factor of Virtual Reality

They can actually view a diamond on its journey from the mine where it was unearthed to the store.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Virtual Reality is particularly geared toward millennials as they can actually view a diamond on its journey from the mine where it was unearthed to the store. It’s a unique and inspiring experience for clients to feel a more personal connection to the diamond they will purchase. Couples appreciate a diamond when they know its story, and they get a better understanding of what makes two diamonds different – along with their prices – even though they may seem identical.

GN says the Light Performance Technology, paired with virtual reality immersion, turns shopping into a sensational experience.

Asaf Herskovitz, CEO, of GN Diamond believes that, “By creating a unique shopping experience for millennials, baby boomers and customers of all ages, retail stores create a point of distinction for themselves especially when competing against on-line internet sites.”

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Retailers have another great in-store selling tool with GN’s Diamond Hunt, which allows stores to put GN’s loose diamond inventory of more than $70 million on their own website, including the store’s logo and markup. Videos of the diamonds, the Light Performance score and the certification of the diamonds are included.

“Everyone craves a pleasant, lifetime memory when making major purchases. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality fulfills this goal and expectation.,” Mr. Herskovitz adds.

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Phillip Gavriel Kicks Off Holiday Season By Giving Back to Community

It donated $25,000 worth of jewelry.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – Phillip Gavriel participated in the New York City based Housing Works’ annual benefit, Fashion for Action. The company donated $25,000 worth of jewelry.

Jewelers have a long tradition of supporting charitable organizations, and both Royal Chain and Phillip Gavriel have a history of giving back, both directly and through partnerships with retailers over the years. This year, Phillip Gavriel contributed to his own local community in New York City with a $25,000 donation of jewelry. Housing Works is a pillar of New York City’s philanthropy efforts, and since it was founded in 1990 it fights for funding and legislation to ensure that all people living with HIV/AIDS have access to quality housing, healthcare, HIV prevention, and treatment, among other lifesaving services.

Every fall, Housing Works hosts the Fashion for Action event and invites various designers to give back in a charitable shopping experience. Event guests have the opportunity to shop donated apparel and jewelry from hundreds of brands while sipping champagne and mingling with New York’s most stylish individuals. Last night was no exception, Phillip Gavriel Jewelry was in the company of fashion’s most important brands such as Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, and COACH to name a few. The roster of New York’s celebrity guest appearances included actress Patricia Clarkson, 2019 Emmy winner Billy Porter and Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field.

This year’s Fashion for Action is currently taking place November 14th-16th, 2019. The Opening Reception took place last night and Phillip Gabriel Maroof himself attended to not only display some his pieces but to shop other brands for a good cause. The public sale will be held, November 15th and 16th from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at the original Chelsea Thrift Shop. The designer pieces will continue to be sold through the season while they last.

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New Governors Add Expertise to GIA Board

They will help steer the Institute’s mission and strategic initiatives.

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(PRESS RELEASE) CARLSBAD, CA – GIA (Gemological Institute of America) welcomed two new members to the Institute’s Board of Governors at its regularly scheduled meeting in Carlsbad, CA. The new Governors, Dr. Jeffrey E. Post, research geologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and Tammy Storino, a finance and operations executive with experience in global consumer brands, will – with 15 other GIA Governors – help steer the Institute’s mission and strategic initiatives. The board bid farewell to Governor Thomas T. Yang, managing director and partner at PrimeGenesis, who completed his term with nine years of service.

“It is an honor and a privilege to have these two dynamic leaders join the GIA Board of Governors. Their expertise will be an invaluable asset to GIA’s consumer protection mission, helping to ensure that the Institute remains a leader in research and innovation while delivering excellence in education and laboratory services,” said Susan Jacques, GIA president and CEO.

Post is the curator-in-charge for the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. In addition, during his more than 35 years at the Smithsonian, he served as chairman of the department of mineral sciences and lead curator for the renovation of the geology, gems and minerals exhibit. Before joining the Smithsonian, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of geological sciences at Harvard University. Post’s many accolades include the Carnegie Mineralogical Award, Jewelers of America Lifetime Achievement Award and Mineralogical Society of America Public Service Medal.

Storino has extensive experience as a global operations and finance leader focused on growth and business results in global consumer brands. Her career spans more than 25 years with companies such as Walt Disney in California and Hong Kong, St. John Knits International Inc. and Too Faced Cosmetics. Storino is a Certified Public Accountant and received her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Northern Illinois University.

The week before the Board meeting, nearly 60 experts – including GIA staff (more than 20 with doctoral degrees); GIA Governors Barbara Dutrow, Jeffrey Post and John Valley, who are all recognized for their academic research; and specialized outside experts – gathered at the Institute’s headquarters in Carlsbad, California, for the 13th annual research meeting. During the three-day meeting, researchers reviewed the latest discoveries in diamonds, colored stones, pearls, laboratory-grown diamonds and instruments. Topics included advances in diamond, colored stone and pearl identification; the scientific matching that supports GIA’s new Diamond Origin Report service; detection of advanced treatments and other aspects of GIA’s extensive research program.

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