CIBJO Reports

25 Nov 2019

Ahead of its 2019 Congress in Bahrain last month, The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) has released a number of reports on key industry issues. We outline four here:


Diamond Commission – Special Report

This report focuses predominantly on what it refers to as the ‘faultline’ between diamonds mined in nature and man-made diamonds. “Because laboratory-grown diamonds prices were deliberately benchmarked against the price of natural diamonds at the outset, the risk exists that the consuming public will continue to associate the one with the other, even after the economics have changed,” it states. “The price war in the laboratory-grown diamond sector could have the effect of depressing the value of goods in the natural diamond sector.

“This makes the task of disconnecting the natural diamond and the laboratory-grown diamond sectors even more important… from our professional perspective, and from the perspective of the consumer. The appeal of both products is different, and so clearly are the economics. They both should be provided the opportunity to thrive, in harmony alongside each other.”

The report calls for the creation of agreed-to rules of engagement between the two diamond sectors in marketing their products, and warns about pitching one as being more ethical or environmentally acceptable than the other. “This is not only a self-destructive marketing strategy, but it is also questionable in terms of the claims being made and the data upon which they are based.

“Proper rules of engagement need to be created,” the report continues, suggesting that one would be for all sides to agree that any stone is neither ethical nor environmentally friendly. “These qualities refer to the way in which they are mined or manufactured. The onus of responsible behaviour always falls upon the individuals and companies mining or synthesising, processing and marketing these products.”

Coloured Stone Special Report

Gemstone variety names are being used for marketing purposes, with few if any agreed-to gemmological standards. Unsubstantiated coloured gemstone variety names are the “biggest challenge our trade is facing right now,” with “numerous instances of the same descriptive names being assigned according to different standards, each time in accordance with the individual guidelines of various gemmological laboratories.

“Starting with more classical descriptive terms, like ‘pigeon blood’ and ‘royal blue,’ some laboratories began developing their own nomenclature, creating new descriptive names for a wide range of colours. Apparently, this is a mutually beneficial business strategy for both the laboratories and the dealers.

“It is imperative that the industry act quickly before consumer confidence is compromised. CIBJO’s Coloured Stone Commission will work in close collaboration with the organisation’s Gemmological Commission to establish standards and parameters for variety names,” the report states.

Ethics Special Report

“Responsible business standards being applied in the jewellery industry are meshing further and further with those used internationally, and with frameworks that govern other industries around the globe. It is important that jewellery industry companies fully understand their responsibilities under these complex sets of expectations, and they communicate them effectively and directly with their supply-chain partners and ultimately the consumer,” author Tiffany Stevens writes.

Noting that it is the consumers’ right to know how the how their jewellery and its components affect the environment and the lives of people as it journeys along the supply chain, she states that being forthright, fully descriptive and making all disclosures clear and easy to understand is imperative.

Pearl Special Report

Prepared by the CIBJO Pearl Commission, this looks at the growing impact of environmental and conservationist factors on the pearl sector, noting that these pose challenges, but also provide opportunities for the industry.

In the Philippines, for instance, climate and environmental changes have had a significant effect on pearl production. These changes present both challenges and opportunities – the main challenge is the lower volume of production that will be available for distribution to the global market. On the other hand, this also serves as an opportunity because, with lower biomass density, comes the potential to achieve a higher quality output.

The report also looks at natural pearls. While rare, nowadays they most commonly are a by-product of the seafood industry, and as such could be subject to restrictions imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna (CITES).

To see the full reports visit

Download Feature