ICA Congress sees biggest ever turnout, largest number of female speakers and delegates
By David Brough
BANGKOK, October 15, 2019 – 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 in 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.
The Congress attracted its biggest number of female delegates and speakers since the first event was held in Tel Aviv, Israel in April 1983.
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.
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.
“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 ICA Congress this year received sponsorship from colored gemstone businesses around the world, as well as from Thailand’s Department of International Trade and Promotion, 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, CEO of Gemfields, our anchor sponsor, and top executives from retailers Chow Tai Fook and Amazon, among many others,” said Santpal Sinchawla, ICA Secretary and Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Congress.
The seminar programme included panel discussions about digital marketing, featuring speakers such as Benjamin Guttery of Third Coast Gems; and challenges facing jewelry designers, with speakers such as Fulvio Scavia, Managing Director, Scavia.
A non-profit organization, the ICA is the only worldwide body specifically created to benefit the global colored gemstone industry.
The ICA was founded in 1984 and now comprises over 700 gem industry leaders from mine to market, including miners, gem cutters, suppliers, retailers, trade associations, gemological laboratories, academia, museums, and so on, from 47 countries, who are devoted to advancing and promoting the knowledge and appreciation of colored gemstones.
The ICA’s global network works to develop a common language for promotion and consistent business standards necessary to improve international communications and trade of colored gemstones.
Over the years, the ICA has provided direct access to colored gemstones and related information. There is no other international organization with the same collective access to, and knowledge about, all levels of the colored gemstone industry.