The International Grown Diamond Association, (IGDA), www.theigda.org, the voice of the laboratory-grown diamond industry, has appointed Joanna Park-Tonks, Founder of CHELSEA ROCKS – Laboratory Grown Diamonds, www.chelsea-rocks.com, as the new IGDA President, effective from 1st January, 2023.
Louis Price, IGDA Board Member and Chief Operating Officer of the special-order diamond consultants, M. Geller, Chicago– will act as Vice President.
This follows the long and successful tenure by Dick Garard, IGDA instigator, who, most significantly worked with the Federal Trade Commission prompting the successful revision of the “Jewellery Guides” in 2018 which state that laboratory grown diamonds should be legally classified as diamonds along with their natural counterparts, since they “…share the same essential gemological, atomic, chemical and visual qualities.”
While Joanna is based in London, she has recently moved from Vienna, Austria and will continue to build the EMEA footprint for the lab-grown market via IGDA representation.
The IGDA will continue to operate out of Morrisville, N.C., USA with Dick Garard serving on the Board, alongside Marty Hurwitz of MVI Research, a market research and strategic consulting unit for the global gem, jewelry and watch industries.
“Together, the leadership team hopes to take the organisation into a new evolution, focusing on member networking, representation and the provision of actionable market insight about the lab-grown industry. All of these activities will help professionalise the industry and bestow it with a collective voice and professional community,” Joanna said.
“In particular, I see great value and synergies in broadening the membership base to include 3rd party suppliers to the LGD industry, student members from a variety of disciplines and increasing the value proposition for retailers. We are working hard to deliver value to retailers in particular, to provide them with tools and methodologies to explain and sell LGDs honestly, clearly and confidently.”
Joanna is keen to promote a mutually respectful and equitable dialogue between the created and mined diamond industry and further enhance the luxury cachet of diamonds in general.
Joanna has more than 20 years’ experience in the diamond industry with De Beers, Central Selling Organisation in London and The Diamond Information Centre, Milan and she also held a variety of management positions with the global consultancy Accenture and in market insight.
Prior to this, Joanna worked for the jewellery department at Christie’s, London.
Joanna holds a BA Honours degree in Combined Arts and Management from “Castle”, University of Durham, UK. She is also recipient of the Peter Kirk European Scholarship.
Joanna speaks English, German, French and Italian and in her spare time supports Guide Dogs for the Blind, a cause close to her heart given the visual language of jewellery and the gift of sight.