The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), and the International Colored Stone Association (ICA), have reached consensus on a global method of coloured gemstone treatment disclosure within the trade. The cooperation between the three follows a growing need of the global coloured gemstone industry to harmonise codes used on jewellery tags and commercial documents to indicate treatments or modifications that the gemstone may have undergone.
At the CIBJO Congress 2007 in Capetown, South Africa, the Coloured Stone Steering Committee had submitted a proposal to integrate a system of treatment modification codes on commercial documents and jewellery tags. The original coding system was developed by AGTA over 26 years ago, and an amended set of codes was approved last year at the CIBJO Congress in Istanbul, Turkey.
Although AGTA and ICA have used codes to disclose treatments for decades, the systems of codes were not directly compatible. With the impetus given by ICA Vice President Charles Abouchar, a task force was formed of representatives from AGTA, CIBJO and ICA, with the aim to reach consensus on a global system of coding. The Task Force meeting was held at Tucson, and concluded with the three associations agreeing to implement the use of AGTA’s disclosure codes for colored gemstones, pending the approval of their respective Boards. The approval of these codes at the CIBJO congress in Munich completes the process.
“With the adoption of these codes by CIBJO and ICA, we have achieved an unprecedented level of cooperation amongst three bodies representing virtually the entire global coloured gemstone community”, said Douglas K. Hucker, CEO AGTA, who is also a USA delegate and a member of the CIBJO Board of Directors. ICA Vice president Charles Abouchar, also a member of the CIBJO Board of Directors, said the use of a single set of disclosure codes for coloured gemstones would significantly increase the confidence retailers need to purchase coloured gemstones in the global gemstone market. “One set of disclosure codes means there is no longer any ambiguity about how gemstones enhancements and treatments need to be disclosed in the industry supply pipeline.”
CIBJO vice president Roland Naftule, the first and founding ICA president and a former AGTA president noted that the set of modification codes are not intended for describing treatments to the final consumer. “Consumers should be provided a full explanation of modifications, such as they are described in the CIBJO Coloured Gemstone Blue Book or the AGTA Gemstone Information Manual,”. “In any case, this achievement will ultimately improve consumer confidence in coloured gemstones,” Naftule emphasised.
The codes will now be listed in CIBJO’s Gemstone Blue Book for each stone.