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 ICA Congress Focused on Transparency and Traceability  

  By Cynthia Unninayar
JAIPUR, India - The “Pink City” of Jaipur hosted the 17th edition of the International Colored Gemstone Association’s biennial Congress, from October 21st to 24th.

This was the second time that India has hosted the ICA event since 2003.
The incoming ICA President, Clement Sabbagh, lights the flame at the inaugural lighting ceremony at the start of the Congress.

Some 275 participants from 25 countries, including 100 attendees from India, joined the event. Speakers included gemologists, miners, cutters, jewellery designers, business experts and authorities on ethics, sustainability and transparency.
Sean Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields, spoke on gemstone mining in Africa and the importance of transparency and traceability.

“Jaipur is one of the most important gems and jewellery exporting cities in the world, and it has been our honour and privilege to host the ICA Congress here,” said Rajiv Jain, chairman of the Jaipur ICA Congress.

GJEPC chairman, Praveen Shankar Pandya indicated in the welcoming address that the GJEPC is ready to support generic marketing of coloured gemstones.
Delegates listen to three days of speakers on a variety of topics.
He also touched on the various laws affecting gem trading in India, such as the GST tax and demonetisation, stressing the need for local dealers to be compliant and transparent in adopting these new rules.

Transparency, traceability and disclosure, along with corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability, were the main themes evoked by speakers at the Congress.
On display at the ICA Congress was the 1.220-kg Insotu emerald, discovered in 2010 at Gemfields’ Kagem mine in Zambia, and recently purchased by Indian company, Diacolor.

Other important points included: how technology can help in finding new customers; the importance of doing business in an ethical manner; future development using e-commerce; how social media can help in connecting manufacturers and traders to consumers; and the importance of creating a story around gems and jewellery.

For more information on the ICA and the Congress, visit
Chairman of the Jaipur ICA Congress committee, Rajiv Jain.
Dr. Assheton Carter spoke on ethics and the importance of not dismissing out of hand the various reports by NGOs on abuse and other issues facing the gem sector.
Federico Barlocher spoke not only about the mines in Mogok, but also lamented the lack of standardization in the nomenclature for gem colours. As one example, he cited the differences in what some labs call “pigeon blood red.”


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