GILC Opens Discussion on Key Issues

Participation for the Gemstone Industry & Laboratory Conference, held at the Tucson Convention Center, was nearly double the expectations of the International Colored Gemstone Association and the American Gem Trade Association.

Laboratories from around the world were well represented and included many members of the LMHC and CIBJO, including Roland Naftule, vice president of CIBJO and president of Sector 3. Members of the trade from the wholesale and retail sectors provided valuable insight and perspective to the discussions.

While a variety of topics were covered, nomenclature for glass-filled rubies was an important issue for many participants. A committee was formed for follow-up discussions to come up with an acceptable commercial name with proper disclosure for this product who will then report to GILC members on their progress.

Another discussion centered on treatments applied to emeralds. It was suggested that separate codes for oil and resin be developed. A newly formed GILC committee is set to address this issue and others related to emerald.

The presentation by ICA vice president Jean Claude Michelou on fair trade and ethical mining applied to colored gemstones revealed a concrete proposal for simplified concept of certification of gemstone producing countries based on poverty reduction, capacity building and value addition to the artisanal miners supply chain to the market.

A discussion on the findings at the Gemological Institute of America on ‘Radioactive Uranium Mineral as Inclusions in Turquoise,’ presented by Shane McClure generated several questions. A committee was formed to look in to this further and give recommendations to regulate the import of this product in accordance with NRC.

On the subject of andesine, a very thorough presentation was given by Dr Ahmadjan Abduriyuim from the Gemmological Association of All Japan, who explained the in depth research he has done in differentiating andesine of Mongolian origin vs. Tibetan origin. As a result it was clear that a distinction between treated and natural material can be made and proper disclosure codes are in order.

Dr. Pornsawat Whatanakul, academic advisor for the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand, presented a method of color grading of corundum based on pre-established master sets. The proposal revived the discussion regarding the color gemstone trade’s reluctance to adopt any color grading codes.

The website for GILC is to be launched soon and will include a forum for discussion of current and future topics of interest. The working committees formed to address issues for GILC will be active within the forum.

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