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WFDB Welcomes the GIA’s Changes to Reports for Lab-Grown Diamonds

The GIA said its reports will be changed to come into line with revisions to the U.S. FTC Jewelry Guides.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ANTWERP, BELGIUM – The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) has welcomed overall the changes by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to its reports for lab-grown diamonds. The GIA said its reports will be changed to come into line with revisions to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Jewelry Guides announced last year.

As of July 1, the GIA will discontinue the GIA Synthetic Diamond Grading Report and introduce, instead, the GIA Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report. WFDB President Ernie Blom said he was pleased that although the reports will include the standard GIA color, clarity and cut grading scales for reference purposes, they will continue to use Colorless, Near Colorless, Faint, Very Faint and Faint to report the color grades for laboratory-grown diamonds, rather than the letters used to report the color grades used for diamonds.

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“In addition, we are happy to see that the reports will continue to use Flawless, Internally Flawless, Very Very Slightly Included, Very Slightly Included, Slightly Included and Included to report clarity grades, rather than VVS1 and VVS2; VS1 and VS2; SI1 and SI2; and I1, I2 and I3 used to report the clarity grades for diamonds.

“Although ‘synthetic’ will not be used in the reports and will be replaced by ‘laboratory grown’ in the identification line, we welcome the fact that the reports will also include the statement: ‘This is a man-made diamond produced by CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) or HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) growth processes and may include post-growth treatments to change the color. In addition, all detected clarity treatments will be disclosed.’

“As I have often said in the past, we have nothing against the lab-grown diamond sector. We only ask that such stones be fully disclosed so that consumers are aware of what they are being offered. These are different products with their own niche market and there is no need for ill-feeling or for dubious claims and advertising to be used against diamonds, such as the claims that lab-growns are eco-friendly and that diamonds are not. We must have fair marketing that does not denigrate other products.

“The global diamond industry made its views known to the GIA during its decision making process, and I am pleased that this very important global institution gave weight to the industry’s concerns. I call on the other labs to follow suit to ensure that their reports are clearly differentiated for lab-grown stones because this is a vital issue for the diamond trade,” Blom added.

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CIBJO Congress 2019 Wraps Up in Bahrain

Laboratory-grown diamond and technology committees were created.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MANAMA, BAHRAIN – The 2019 CIBJO Congress has concluded in Bahrain, with the World Jewelry Confederation’s Board of Directors voting to establish a series of new committees, among them one that will be dedicated to establishing operating practices that are specific to the laboratory-grown diamond trade, and another which will focus on the long-term impacts of new technologies on the jewelry, gemstone and precious metals sectors.

The annual congress was held this year 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 hosted by DANAT, Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones. The congress was attended by about 220 participants, with about 150 flying in from abroad.

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According to the decision by the board, the Laboratory-Grown Diamond Committee will operate under the umbrella of the CIBJO’s Diamond Commission. It is being created from an ad hoc working group, which was established at the 2018 CIBJO Congress in Colombia, and over the past year prepared a guidance document that was presented at a highly anticipated and packed session at the gathering in Bahrain. The working group included CIBJO officers and officials, representatives both the laboratory-grown diamond sector, the natural diamond sector and a leading gemological laboratory.

The time has come to reach a modus operandi that is acceptable to all of us,” Dr. Cavalieri stated. “Unnecessary effort and time have been wasted through mutual recrimination, and it ultimately it is in the interests of all sides to develop a mutually agreed-to framework that would prevent problematic incidents, such as the mixing of parcels of natural and laboratory-grown diamonds without disclosing the fact to consumers.”

The new Technology Committee will draw on expertise from across the jewelry sector, with the goals of developing understandings of the disruptive technologies that are likely to impact the industry in coming years.

Among them is Artificial Intelligence (AI), which could be transformative for the jewelry and gemstone sector, because it takes over decision-making functions that to date have been performed by people. With a capacity to have positive impacts, in that it could create systems that are able to analyze consumer demand and then optimize the production of raw materials, the types, qualities and quantities of gemstones being cut, and the range of jewelry being produced, there also are more sinister aspects, such as reduced autonomous decision-making and invasions of privacy of both members of industry and consumers.

The CIBJO Board of Directors additionally decided to establish a third new committee, which will be charged with fundraising for the World Jewelry Confederation.

2019 was an election year for CIBJO, with a new Board of Directors being sworn in and the confederation’s President, Dr. Cavalieri, being confirmed for another two-year term in office. Two new vice presidents were elected to serve along the CIBJO’s long-time Vice President Roland Naftule. They are Jonathan Kendall of the De Beers Group of Companies and Pramod Agarwal, the current chairman of India’s Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council.

The annual CIBJO Congress is the official venue for the meeting of the CIBJO Assembly of Delegates, at which gathers the members of national jewelry and gemstone associations from about 45 countries and representatives of many of the industry’s most important commercial bodies. During the event, the organization’s Diamond, Colored Stones, Pearl, Coral, Precious Metals, Gemological and Responsible Sourcing Blue Books, which are industry’s most widely accepted directories of uniform grading and business standards and nomenclature, are discussed and updated.

For comprehensive reports of each CIBJO Congress 2019 session, photo galleries speeches and presentations and commission special reports, please visit the dedicated website here.

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Press Releases

WFDB President Urges KP Plenary to Ensure Pro-Active Role for Proposed Permanent Secretariat

It is particularly in facilitating the process of rehabilitation of countries that had previously been found to be non-compliant.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ANREWERP, BELGIUM – World Federation of Diamond Bourses President Ernie Blom has appealed to government representatives attending next week’s Kimberley Process Plenary session in New Delhi, India, to ensure that the new KP Permanent Secretariat that is being set up is given a pro-active role, particularly in facilitating the process of rehabilitation of countries that had previously been found to be non-compliant.

Writing in his President’s Blog on the WFDB website, Blom urges the KP members to follow the spirit of UN Resolution A/71/L.55 of January 2017 so that that the new structure being set up to replace the current Administrative Support Mechanism (ASM) is not reduced to being “a bureaucratic pen-pusher”. Blom says that the Ad Hoc Committee on Review and Reform tasked with the establishment and practical organization of a Permanent Secretariat has put forward a list of functions of the new body that “are only of an administrative nature”.

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This fails to tackle a “structural deficiency in the organization”, he writes, elaborating, “One particular problem that demonstrates this is the process of rehabilitation for countries that had previously been found to be noncompliant.

The reasons for the long process of normalization in these countries is related to poverty and the lack of human and technical capital and the many structural deficits of a country which has been in a conflict.

“For example, while the special teams that are established to follow up the process of rehabilitation do excellent work in developing the internal controls necessary for a Participant to once again become compliant, these are often
voluntary groups with no prior institutional knowledge and therefore lack any consistency in the structures that they implement.”

Unfortunately, the idea that the secretariat “could potentially help to facilitate progress in countries of concern and especially in assisting the Kimberley Process with regard to Participants who had been suspended and who are
resuming participation in the KP is nowhere to be found.”

It will be a pity if the opportunity to create such a body is missed, Blom writes, but concludes: “It is not too late and hopefully the Plenary will do what is needed.”

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Jewelers of America Announces Dates for 2020 National Convention

The convention will feature the theme “2020: Envision”.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, has announced it will host the second annual Jewelers of America National Convention at the InterContinental New York Barclay July 26-28, 2020, during a week when the industry will descend on New York for galas and board meetings. The Convention, with a theme of 2020: Envision, unites Jewelers of America members for impactful presentations and discussions that look to the future of the jewelry retail marketplace.

Engaging Jewelers of America’s network of retailers and supplier businesses, the National Convention will feature two-days of seminars – from experts outside and inside the industry – with a look toward the future of jewelry retail. With compelling keynotes and seminars, attendees get insight on the issues influencing the jewelry industry and solutions to their top-of-mind challenges.

“We were thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received following our inaugural National Convention last year. Our team is hard at work developing a program that will help jewelry businesses successfully grow in 2020. Our membership is diverse and yet they share many of the same business challenges. Through the National Convention, we are striving to provide solutions to those challenges in a variety of ways from education and interactive labs to networking and idea exchanges,” says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte.

The Convention will also feature unique opportunities for attendees to get hands-on with jewelry, retail tech and diamond detection devices. The Welcome Party will be hosted on the evening of Sunday, July 26, and will feature a Designer Preview where participating designers wear their favorite pieces of jewelry to the cocktail party, display a selection of their jewelry and share the inspirations behind their designs with attendees in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. The Diamond Detection and Retail Innovation Labs will bring together leading companies and technologies that can help retailers work more efficiently and increase sales.

To learn more about the Jewelers of America National Convention or to sign up to be notified with updates, including when tickets go on sale, visit www.jewelers.org/convention.

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