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CIBJO Annual Congress’s Clarion Call for Focusing Younger Consumers
CIBJO, The World Jewellery Confederation, held its annual Congress at the Pan Pacific Hotel in the Canadian city of Vancouver, British Columbia...
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Oct 24 2006 12:00AM
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VANCOUVER, CANADA: CIBJO, The World Jewellery Confederation, held its annual Congress at the Pan Pacific Hotel in the Canadian city of Vancouver, British Columbia. In his keynote speech CIBJO President Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri called on the jewellery community to invest in instilling a fine jewellery culture in younger consumers, so as to ensure the long-term health of the market.

“Ultimately, the future growth of our market depends upon the instilling of a fine jewellery culture in the consuming public,” Dr. Cavalieri stated. “We cannot assume it will always be there, and especially not in markets where consumerism is a relatively new phenomenon. Young people today are enticed by a great number of different industries to spend their non-essential dollars. Travel, electronics and entertainment appear to attract them more than a well designed and valuable item of jewellery.”

“We know that the jewellery buying experience is habit-forming. But if consumers don’t get their first taste early, they are less likely to become big jewellery spenders in later years, when they are more established and more affluent. If there is a message that I would like you to walk away with today it is that we should not only seize the day, carpe diem, as my Roman forefathers would say, but we must seize the future, and for that we need to invest time, effort and a great deal of thought,” Dr. Cavalieri added.

Global Market Open to All:

Many of the speakers chose to focus on the subject of corporate responsibility. They were led off by Dr. Hanifa Mezoui, a senior official in the Department of Economic & Social Affairs (ECOSOC) at the United Nations. Quoting UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, she told delegates: “Let us choose to unite the power of markets with the authority of universal ideals. Let us choose to reconcile the creative forces of private entrepreneurship with the needs of the disadvantaged and the requirements of future generations. Let us ensure that prosperity reaches the poor. Let us choose an enlightened way forward towards our ultimate, shared goal: a global market place that is open to all and benefits all.”

To counter the fallout of the Hollywood movie ‘The Blood Diamond’, to be released in December next, World Diamond Council Chairman Eli Izhakoff and Louise Prior, a Communications Manager at the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), outlined the campaign that has been devised to provide information to the industry and jewellery buying public about that diamond industry’s efforts to eradicate the Conflict Diamond trade.

80th Anniversary:

The 2006 CIBJO Congress marks the 80th anniversary of the organization, which serves as an umbrella body for national and international jewellery associations from around the world, and from all sectors of the industry. The Congress in Vancouver, was hosted by the Canadian Jewellers’ Association, attracted more than 300 delegates to the Western Canadian city, a record number in CIBJO’s history.

New Blue Books:

Diamond (Blue) Book : the Diamond Commission of CIBJO presented a new version of the Diamond (Blue) Book at the organization’s.

The CIBJO Diamond Commission’s president, Harry Levy, explained that a new version of the Diamond (Blue) Book was long overdue as there were many new innovations in the diamond trade. CIBJO is now looking towards the end-user and consumer confidence, and is becoming an arbiter in the protection of their interests.

With this in mind, the new Diamond Book is far more informative regarding the terms used, how they apply and how to read a diamond grading report. There is a good glossary of terms and a reference section where the consumer can get more information on many aspects of the diamond industry.

Levy said that while the Diamond Book retains many of the rules of the diamond industry, the rules regarding diamond grading form a separate section of the new book. This section will have to be compiled in a joint effort with the laboratories.

Colored Stones Blue Book:

CIBJO’s Colored Stones Commission (CSC) completed the compilation of the long-awaited new edition of CIBJO Colored Gemstone Blue Book, just in time for the organization’s Congress.

At CIBJO’s previous Congress, which was held in Hong Kong in 2005, there was unanimous agreement on the need for full disclosure at all stages of the supply chain. The Congress took a number of important steps towards achieving this goal, most notably by giving its stamp of approval to this major revision of the Gemstone Blue Book.

There have been ongoing discussions within the trade as to whether consumer confidence is best enhanced by maintaining CIBJO’s Articles 8 and 9 in their present form. As they now stand, these clauses divide all disclosures into two categories, which can serve as a guide for the consumer. Alternatively, it has been proposed to combine these two categories into one and allow the consumer to make a decision on that basis.

Blue Book for Pearls:

The CIBJO Pearl Commission, headed by Martin Coeroli of Perles de Tahiti, presented a draft of the new CIBJO Blue Book for Pearls, with the aim of achieving ISO standard for pearls, at the annual Congress.

“Since the past CIBJO Congress, the steering committee has held three very intensive working sessions during trade shows in Hong Kong, Tucson and Las Vegas and as a result has arrived at the draft of a new CIBJO Pearl Blue Book that will also serve as the basis for an international ISO standard”. %Gaetano Cavalieri Re-Elected:

The Assembly of Delegates, the supreme decision-making body of CIBJO has unanimously elected Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri for a further term as CIBJO president.

Dr. Cavalieri thanked the CIBJO delegates for the vote of confidence, and committed himself to the task of representing the world jewellery industry, primarily through the promotion of consumer confidence in the business. He reiterated comments made at the start of the CIBJO Congress. “Several years ago, soon after becoming president of CIBJO, I compared our organization to an expensive red Italian racing car, which looks very good and can run very fast, but not many people know how to drive it properly. I think that we are doing a lot better today, and our car is moving on the track at great speed. But we can go faster and we must drive carefully. I hope that you come along with me on this exciting journey,” he stated.

CIBJO gets Consultative Status with UN

CIBJO has become the only organization in the jewellery sector ever to be accorded official Consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. This status, which is based on Article 71 of the UN Charter, will enable CIBJO to make a contribution to the programs and goals of the UN by serving as technical expert adviser and consultant to governments and the UN Secretariat.

The announcement about CIBJO’s new role was made by Hanifa Mezoui, a senior official at ECOSOC, who was a guest speaker on the first day of the 2006 CIBJO Congress.

“ECOSOC for its part, has become increasingly multifaceted, consisting not just of NGOs with public service, non-profit objectives, but also those that have a blend of objectives, including effectively representing the interests of industry groups in the international context. Hence, corporate social and environmental responsibility and codes of conduct have become as relevant to these organizations as to those that are strictly public service related. The World Jewellery Confederation is an example of one of those organizations that have more recently joined the ECOSOC family which has such a blend of objectives,” stated Dr. Mezoui, in her address.

“We are both honoured and gratified to have been granted this special status by ECOSOC,” said CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri. The decision by the UN agency recognizes more than a year of hard work on our part and those who assisted us.

The International Gemological Institute (IGI) has been officially recognized as a CIBJO Registered Laboratory. CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri announced the registration of IGI, endorsed by Jewelers of America, at the CIBJO Laboratory Committee meeting in Vancouver, Canada, on July 25, 2006.

Official CIBJO Registered Laboratory must be independent of any commercial or private enterprise, or groups of such enterprises; it should always be managed under competent professional direction; it must abide by all CIBJO rules without exception and should work in accordance with the CIBJO publications: the Diamond Book, the Gemstone Book, the Pearl Book and it may only issue diamond, gemstone and/or pearl reports, which are prepared in accordance with the CIBJO rules; otherwise its recognition may be cancelled by CIBJO.

“CIBJO is a highly regarded organization that has contributed greatly to the industry over the last 80 years through its standards and practices and IGI is proud to be a CIBJO Registered Laboratory,” stated Jerry Ehrenwald, IGI CEO, North & South America.

International Co-operation Assured

A noteworthy plus point of this important trade and industry development seminar was the assurance reiterated by Australia and South Africa for mutually beneficial supportive gold trade policies for fast progressing India. Here is what their diplomatic representatives went on record to say at the Delhi Gold Summit :

John McCarthy Australian High Commissioner to India :
India’s emergence as an economic and strategic powerhouse in Asia is proving to be one of the most significant forces for change in the 21st century. India has seized opportunities presented by the modern globalized economy. For Australia, India is becoming increasingly important. This is not only because of its strategic role in Asia Pacific, but also because India has moved up to become Australia’s sixth largest export market. Gold is a critical element in this export trade. Gold is now Australia’s main export to India. And the expansion in trade has been extraordinary. In 2000, gold exports to India were valued at less than US$50 million. By 2005, exports increased to over US$2,500 million. Australia now supplies approximately 20 per cent of India’s gold market. India’s domestic market will also have a significant impact on India’s ability to take on a greater role in the world gold market. India’s regulatory structures are, of course, a sovereign issue for India.. Fostering and encouraging entrepreneurial talent in India is good for the regional and global economy. I have no doubt that, given the opportunity; India’s entrepreneurs can play a leadership role in the world gold market more generally.

Francis Moloi South African High Commissioner to India:
We are the largest producers of gold in the world. We have worlds deepest gold mines in our region. Gold is playing a dominating role in the development of our country we are getting big volume of taxes, gold mines are providing more employment opportunities there. Our water, electricity and other infrastructures are mainly based on the mining sectors. As India is the second fast growing economy of the world and is the major importer of gold, our gold business with India is increasing to good levels.The development and growth of India is also good for our country. For South Africa India is becoming more important; we are looking forward for more joint ventures with Indian companies for the mutual benefit of both the countries. The geographical area of India is best suited to become an international distribution channel for gold.

CIBJO Redefines Relationship with Gems Labs:

“During the past year, we have looked very carefully at this process, and after numerous deliberations, meetings and discussions, we have come to the conclusion that we need to get away from any sort of formal or legal affiliation between CIBJO and gemological laboratories,” said Heja Garcia Guillerminet, President of the CIBJO Laboratory Commission. However, he added, CIBJO places paramount importance in maintaining a meaningful relationship with the laboratories, and would like to see them follow CIBJO’s rules for diamonds, colored gemstones and pearls.

To replace the earlier somewhat cumbersome process of affiliation, the Laboratory Commission has proposed that the organization simply publish a list of the gem labs that are in compliance with its regulations. This would suit CIBJO’s desire to let gem labs of goodwill cooperate with the organization.

The Laboratory Commission also came to the conclusion that for reasons of clarity and to reduce the organization’s legal exposure, it would be best to allow labs that are in compliance to CIBJO’s main goal, which is to develop common standards and apply them with conviction.

The purpose of this specific project is to enlarge the CIBJO family under the best possible conditions and with due regard to members’ extensive experience with international dialogue. In so doing, the Laboratory Commission is carrying out its task, in coordination with the other three CIBJO “sectorial” committees, of maintaining the organisation’s reputation for high standards while extending a helping hand to those who are willing to join its demanding community.

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