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WDC Urges That Consumers’ Concern for Product Integrity Be Addressed

Kimberley Process considers options for strengthening KPCS.

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WDC President Stephane Fischler addressing the Closing Session of the KP Intersessional Meeting in Mumbai, India, on June 21, 2019.

(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – As the 2019 Intersessional Meeting of the Kimberley Process (KP) wrapped up on June 21 in the Indian city of Mumbai, WDC President Stephane Fischler expressed confidence that progress has been made in the effort to reach consensus on the review and reform of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). He called on participants to agree on the measures necessary for strengthening the KPCS’s impact, both in improving the lives and prospects of communities in the mining areas, and also in meeting the expectations of consumers in the jewelry markets.

“What is essential is that, together, we send a clear signal to the outside world, including consumers, that the Kimberley Process remains a vitally relevant institution, which is able to evolve and adapt according to changing conditions. This must be the case at the upstream end of the chain of value, as it is at the downstream end,” he stated.

WDC President Executive Director Marie-Chantal Kaninda intervening during a session of 2019 KP Intersessional Meeting in Mumbai, India.

At the same time, said the WDC President, recognition of the need to reform should never detract from the very significant achievements the KP has achieved to date. Indeed, he stated, the WDC itself has been remiss in highlighting that developmental programs for artisanal miners that its members are currently involved in launching in places like Sierra Leone, Guinea, DRC and others would have been impossible were it not for the role of the KPSC in returning peace to these areas.

The WDC remains committed to developing such programs, he said, but they are undermined when acts of violence bring the integrity of the diamond into question. “We will continue to stand on the front lines, highlighting our concerns and advancing and promoting solutions, he said. “To do that, we require the understanding, cooperation and support of all players in the chain of value. If we see consumers turning away, our market share shrinks, revenues fall, and all of us will feel the pain.”

While, as the diamond and jewelry industry’s representative in the tripartite KP the WDC has non-voting observer status, its 11-person team at the KP Intersessional, led by Mr. Fischler and WDC Executive Director Marie-Chantal Kaninda, played key roles in various sessions of the plenary and working groups, and in particular Peter Karakchiev, a WDC Board member from Alrosa, who chairs the Working Group of Diamond Experts (WGDE) and the subcommittee on the creation of a permanent KP Secretariat.

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Mr. Karakchiev also organized and moderated a Special Forum at the meeting in Mumbai on June 19, which delved into the promotion of the Diamond Terminology Guidelines that were adopted as KP Best Practices last year. Most speakers in that forum were representatives of WDC member bodies. They included Karla Basselier, of the Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC); Sanjay Shah, of India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC); David Bouffard of Signet Jewelers; and Elodie Daguzan of Rubel & Ménasché.

The WDC members spoke about efforts being taken by the industry to bridge the expectations of stakeholders in the diamond producing countries and the growing demand by Millennial and Generation Z jewelry buyers that the products they buy have ethical and social value.“We cannot afford to have our competitors in the marketplace using the perceived shortcomings of the Kimberley Process to sell their own products,” said Mr. Bouffard during the Special Forum on diamond terminology.

A second Special Forum on June 19 looked at grass-roots programs being operated in diamond industry communities. It featured Feriel Zerouki, of WDC member De Beers Group, who presented the GemFair initiative in Sierra Leone, which is working to formalize and support artisanal miners in the diamond value chain; and Sabyasachi Ray of GJEPC, who outlined the Swasthya Ratna Policy, a heavily-subsidized health care plan created by his organization for workers in the Indian jewelry sector and their families, which eventually could provide comprehensive coverage to more than 5 million people.

To download a full copy of the WDC President’s speech to the Closing Session of the 2019 KP Intersessional Meeting, please click here.

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French Association of Gemology Announces Speakers for 18th Gemological Symposium

It takes place on September 9, 2019.

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(PRESS RELEASE) PARIS, FRANCE – The Association Française de Gemmologie (the French Association of Gemology) has announced the line-up of speakers for the 18th Paris Gemological Rendez Vous, its prestigious annual gems symposium, which will take place on September 9, 2019, at: l’ASIEM, 6 rue Albert de Lapparent, Paris, France.

The speaker list in alphabetical order is:

  • Alan Bronstein, President of the Natural Color Diamond Association
  • Aurélien Delaunay, director of the French Laboratory Of Gemology (LFG)
  • Richard Duffy : CEO of Petra Diamonds
  • David Fisher, Principal Scientist, De Beers Technology
  • Stéphane Fischler, President of the World Diamond Council
  • Peter Karakchiev, Head of the International Relations Department, ALROSA
  • Jim Pounds, Executive Vice-President Diamonds, Dominion Diamond Mines
  • Martin Rapaport, Chairman, Rapaport
  • Eddy Vleeschdraeger, Director at the Scientific and Technical Research Center for
    Diamonds (WTOCD – Belgium), author of “Hardness 10”
  • Feriel Zerouki, Senior Vice-President of International Relations and Ethical Initiatives, De Beers

The moderator of the symposium is Didier Giard, president of the French Association of Gemology and a member of the French Academy of Overseas Sciences. “This year’s symposium will be taking a comprehensive look at diamonds,” said Giard. “During a period of many challenges to the natural diamond industries including synthetics and a volatile international market, we are very proud to host such distinguished members of the diamond industry. They will be giving us their considered views, backed by years of experience, on the diamond industry from many different angles.

“This is a one-day event (9.15 am to 6.00 pm) that will give the audience plenty of food for thought, from diamond mining, the current state of the market, and colored diamonds to the scientific, gemological and historical aspects of natural diamonds. I would urge members of the trade to register as soon as possible in order to secure a place at the symposium since there are a limited number of places available. The symposium will have simultaneous French and English translation.”

To register, please send a mail to: gemmes7@orange.fr

For further information, contact Didier Giard at: giard.didier@gmail.com

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Press Releases

GIT Is Hosting GIT’s 13th World Jewelry Design Award and Challenge Gems Faceting Master 2019

Its objective is to support and further strengthen designers and lapidaries potentials towards the gem and jewelry industry today.

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(PRESS RELEASE) The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) or GIT is hosting a press conference on GIT’s 13th World Jewelry Design Award and Challenge Gems Faceting Master 2019 with an objective to support and further strengthen designers and lapidaries potentials and to provide guidance towards the gem and jewelry industry today.

Mrs. Duangkamol Jiambutr, director of GIT mentioned, GIT’s World Jewelry Design Award is hosted for the 13th time this year under the theme “Blue by Day, Green by Evening, Red by Night” starring blue gem, red gem and green gem as the main component of the design piece, also GIT is hosting Challenge Gems Faceting Master, inviting Chanthaburi lapidaries and lapidaries from all around the world to have a chance to further strengthen their skills to meet international standard and to win cash prizes worth 1 million baht or 35,000 USD with honored trophy. In the past year, there are over 300 submissions from interested participants from around the world, whereas this year, we are expecting to receive over 400 submission globally.

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The institute have hosted GIT’s World Jewelry Design Award for 12 times in the past, where it is able to create numerous renown designers, for example, Miss Supatchana Limwongse, the winner of GIT’s World Jewelry Design Award 2018 under the theme “The Pearl of Wisdom – Illumination from under the surface” where today, she is the founder of La Orr Ornaments, a contemporary jewelry brand that combines valuable metal with silk, that is gaining popularity today.

As well as Mrs. Wichuda Taepornpanich the winner of GIT’s World Jewelry Design Award 2013 under the theme “Cubism” who started as a freelance designer and today, she is the owner of a jewelry brand called ‘Wida Jewelry’, with her renown embedded gemstone in silver and gold jewelry that has been showcase in both domestic and international events such as Mega Show 2018 in Hongkong and Tokyo Fashion World 2019 in Japan.

GIT’s 13th World Jewelry Design Awards 2019 invites participants from all around the world including students, experts, designers and entrepreneurs. Submission opens from today – 1 August 2019 and the first-round selections will be in August 2019 where the judges will be selecting 30 designs, where 8 designs with the highest score will be turning their designs sketches into an actual jewelry piece.

The competition is divided into 3 types which are prizes for jewelry design focusing on red (ruby) or blue (sapphire) or semi-precious stone with similar shades, prizes for jewelry design focusing on green (peridot) or semi-precious stone with similar shades and Popular Design Award 2019, where interested participants must submit their design that is related to the theme and must contain a minimum of three design pieces in one collection such as earrings, rings and bracelets, and participants can submit up to 3 collections during the submission period.

Submissions can be made via www.gitwjda.com or submit a hard-copy to The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) 340, 340/1-3, 340/5 ITF-Tower Building. 3rd Floor, Silom Road, Suriyawong, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand within 1st August 2019.

Challenge Gem Faceting Master is divided into 2 types which are prizes for Chanthaburi Lapidaries and prizes of General Lapidaries, interested participants can use Synthetic Gemstone or Semi-precious stone with no color limitation, cutting in a cushion shape with no limitation to the number of edges (Mixed cut or Fancy cut) with an approximate size of 25 millimeters, each applicant can submit up to 2 gems. The submitted gemstone must be packed neatly with full details and can be submit in person at The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (Public Organization).

“The institute will be hosting the Final Round Selections in September 2019 and an Awarding Ceremony for The Winner of GIT’s World Jewelry Design Award and Challenge Gems Faceting Master 2019 together with an exhibition of the selected designs in the “International Chanthaburi Gems and Jewelry Festival 2019” we hope that this competition will have a crucial role in developing and strengthen designer and lapidaries potential, to further build a strong foundation to enter the gem and jewelry industry, as well as to push forward Thai jewelry to be the center of the global gem and jewelry trade” Mrs. Duangkamol Jiambutr said.

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Gem Legacy Launches Campaign to Fund 28 Orphans’ New School Year

It’s for the 2019-2020 school year.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ROYAL OAK, MI – Gem Legacy is launching its Back to School Giving goal of $15,400 to send 28 orphans ($550 each) to school for the 2019-2020 school year. Secondary school in East Africa is not paid by the government and the school fees are a large burden on orphanages and children’s homes.

The Mwatate Children’s Home houses over 30 children, age 5-18, in the region of southern Kenya where Tsavorite Garnet is found. The children are all orphans or do not have a family to live with for various reasons and the home supports them mentally, emotionally, and physically. The Home seeks to ensure that the orphans are equipped to flourish as adults when they need to leave the home.

“The Mwatate Children’s home is a community effort and their success in supporting the kids has been largely due to the presence of gemstones, but the need is greater than their ability to support,” said Roger Dery, founder of Gem Legacy. “Our vision is that the greater global gem and jewelry community can rally to ensure that these orphans have the best education available to them.”

Supporters can contribute monetarily or donate children’s books which allow the kids to practice their knowledge of English in the evening. Lightly used baby books, children’s books through 8th grade reading level, learning to read books, and series are appreciated. For more information about Gem Legacy, Inc. or to donate, please email info@gemlegacy.org or visit gemlegacy.org. To learn more, follow Gem Legacy on Instagram @thegemlegacy and on Facebook @thegemlegacy.

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