ICA Documentary Series Releases First DVD

The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA), in cooperation with French gemologist and author Patrick Voillot, has released the first of four three-hour documentaries, In Pursuit of Precious Gemstones. According to ICA, the series is a mix of serious science and high adventure, with “no small amount of danger, as the viewer is taken to the magical places where rare colored gemstones are found.”

The first DVD features Kashmir sapphires, Brazilian imperial topaz, and Madagascar tourmalines.

“Never dry or technical,” says the ICA, “the series shows the intrepid Voillot climbing down mud holes in Mogok, Burma, in search of rubies and trekking across dangerous glaciers in the mountains of Kashmir. In search of sapphires, he takes the viewer deep into the fascinating and seldom seen world of the international gem dealer, showing secret mine locations, cutting and polishing operations, and the gemstone markets and distribution channels from country to country.”

The DVD project gives ICA a way to promote color to consumers, through jewelry retailers. “ICA is an organization made up of miners, cutters, wholesale gem dealers, and gemstone professionals, such as gemologists, but it doesn’t have members in the retail jewelry sector,” notes Ya’akov Almor, ICA’s GemBureau chief. “When ICA was founded 19 years ago, the concept of a vertically integrated market didn’t exist. Therefore, the scope of the organization didn’t go as far as retail, and certainly not to the consumer. The DVD project is a clear indication that this view has changed.”

ICA hopes the series will highlight its efforts to become the major promotional engine for the colored-gemstone trade and notes that several national and public television stations have expressed interest in the programs. “We’re going to provide our members with more tools for their retail clients—tools that will ultimately serve to ‘wow’ the consumer with color,” says Almor. “This is just the beginning.”

Upcoming DVDs will showcase Burma ruby, Colombian emerald, Sri Lankan moonstone and sapphires, Guatemalan jade, Pakistani aquamarine, Bolivian ametrine, Tanzanian tanzanite, Australian opal, and colored diamonds from Guinea.

To order In Pursuit of Colored Gemstones: Vol. 1 and subsequent volumes as they become available, contact gembureau@gemstone.org.