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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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