Swiss, Bahrain gem labs sign pearl Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

We publish courtesy of The National Jeweler

Basel, Switzerland — Two gemstone testing laboratories in Switzerland and Bahrain have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize their ongoing collaboration in pearl research.

Signed last month in Bahrain, a major hub for the natural pearl trade, by Michael Krzemnicki, director of the Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF), and Ali Safar, director of the Directorate of Precious Metals Gemstone Testing of the Ministry of Commerce in Bahrain (GPTLB), the MOU makes official a collaborative effort between the SSEF and the GPTLB that began some years ago, the labs said in a media release.

Both internationally renowned labs reputed for their expertise in pearl research, identification and certification, the SSEF and GPTLB believe that the natural pearl trade is being challenged by increasing amounts of beadless saltwater cultured pearls, or keshi cultured pearls as they are more commonly known. The labs say it is crucial for laboratories to collaborate internationally in pearl research to maintain consumer confidence in the product.

“It is the purpose of this MOU to establish mutual co-operation in research and training on pearls and to harmonize the testing of pearls, especially concerning the development of criteria for distinguishing natural pearls from cultured pearls,” Krzemnicki said. “We are confident that this collaboration is in the interest of the international natural pearl trade and both parties are looking forward to a successful partnership.”

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