The Great IJL Debate

The Birmingham Assay Office and Reed Exhibitions will host the first IJL Great Debate on Sept. 5. Entitled “A brand without values has no value at all,” the event will include brief presentations from respected panellists, followed by a discussion of the threats and opportunities arising from ethical issues for the jewellery trade. The event is in conjunction with International Jewellery London, being held Sept. 2-5 at Earls Court.

Ongoing activity by agencies such as Global Witness, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, and Earthworks has highlighted ethical, social, and humanitarian issues within the jewelry and precious stone industry. The challenges presented by “conflict diamonds” and “dirty gold” are clearly a threat to consumer confidence but also highlight the dependency of under developed countries on the Western jewelry industry. Jewelry consumers are literally keeping millions of people alive in Africa, India, and elsewhere.

Michael Allchin, Assay Master at The Birmingham Assay Office will chair the debate. “We believe this to be an important issue for the jewellery industry and must be confronted and embraced rather than ignored,” he said.

Allchin will be joined by panellists including Michael Rae, chief executive of the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices, and representatives from Global Witness, the retail jewelry sector, and the mining industry.

The debate will take place in the Brompton Hall, adjacent to Earls Court 2, starting at 9.00 a.m.  Admission is free, but tickets must be obtained in advance due to restricted capacity. Register your interest via the IJL Web site and click on the features section, or email gem@theassayoffice.co.uk with your name and address details or visit stand G305 or C315 at IJL, Earls Court for a ticket.