Trade groups agree on diamond nomenclature
By David Brough
BANGKOK, November 7, 2017 – Three trade bodies have agreed on nomenclature in diamonds to create a unified reference for the global gem and jewellery industry.
The agreement was reached at the November 5-7 congress of the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) in Bangkok between CIBJO, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA).
The CIBJO event at the Shangri-La hotel gathered hundreds of gemologists, jewellers and sector leaders from around the world to discuss issues affecting the industry and to seek agreement on nomenclature in the jewellery and gem trade.
Under the deal on Tuesday, the nomenclature used by the International Diamond Council (IDC) will now be harmonised with that of CIBJO’s Diamond Blue Book.
“The CIBJO Diamond Book may now function as the single official reference book for nomenclature in the entire diamond and jewellery industry, with the goal of enhancing consumer confidence,” said Udi Sheintal, the CIBJO Diamond Commission president.
The agreement was formalised at the CIBJO congress, after the CIBJO Diamond Commission approved amendments to the CIBJO Diamond Book that had been requested by the IDC, as part of the agreement between the three organisations.
“The true beneficiaries of this agreement are the diamond consumers, who will now be able to refer to a single set of rules for describing diamonds,” said CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri.
“Our Blue Books are living documents, which are reviewed year in and year out on a continuing basis, to ensure that they are current with changing conditions and technological developments.”
Focus on ethics
Calls for high ethical standards in the coloured gemstone trade dominated talks at the CIBJO congress.
CIBJO president Cavalieri proposed a framework for the coloured gemstone industry to ensure the highest standards of corporate social responsibility along the supply chain.
Host nation Thailand is a leading manufacturer and exporter of coloured gemstone jewellery. Its gem and jewellery sector employs over one million people.
In the first nine months of 2017 Thailand exported some US$10.66 billion of gems and jewellery, according to the state-run Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT).
At the opening ceremony of the congress, attended by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Cavalieri said the global gems and jewellery industry depended on strict compliance to the highest ethical standards to ensure its own survival.
“If we lose the confidence of our consumers, and in so doing undercut the value of our product, we will not remain in business, let alone prosper,” he said.
One of the most difficult challenges facing the coloured gemstone trade was ensuring the integrity of goods entering the pipeline, when most rough materials are produced by artisanal or small-scale miners working in tough conditions.
In his keynote address, Prime Minister Chan-o-cha outlined Thailand’s strategy to become the world’s leading hub for the trade of coloured gemstone jewellery, including tax incentives, and educational and marketing programmes.
“Thailand is determined to develop products to elevate the country’s gems and jewellery industry, with the goal to establish itself as the world’s gem and jewellery trading hub by 2021,” he said.
Before the CIBJO congress, Thailand hosted a World Ruby Forum in Bangkok on November 4 featuring discussions about the supply, marketing and certification of rubies to showcase the country’s potential to grow as a centre for trading manufactured rubies.