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July 20, 2006

CIBJO Commissions to Release New Blue Books at Congress

CIBJO's Diamond Commission, Coloured Stone Commission (CSC) and Pearl Commission will release new Diamond, Gemstone and Pearl Blue Books in time for the organization's upcoming congress in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, July 24-27.

The new Diamond Book, reflecting recent innovations in the diamond trade, will include more information regarding terms used, how they apply and how to read a diamond grading report. The book will feature a comprehensive glossary and a reference section to help consumers get more information on the diamond industry.

In addition rules regarding diamond grading will be moved into a separate section, which will be completed later in collaboration with grading laboratories.

The Gemstone Book is a revision based on CIBJO's previous congress in Hong Kong last year, where the Gemstone Commission unanimously agreed on the need for full product disclosure at all stages of the supply chain. The congress approved a major revision of the Gemstone Blue Book.

The trade has been engaged in discussions regarding whether consumer confidence can be best promoted by maintaining CIBJO's current Articles 8 and 9, which provide guidelines for descriptions of gemstones and their modifications.

"The Coloured Stone Steering Committee, whose mandate is to revise the Coloured Stone Blue Book, has been very active since the last Congress," CSC President Vichian Veerasaksri says in a release. "It met in Tucson last February mainly to discuss Articles 8 and 9. At that time, the committee members who were present offered their points of view in person, while others sent their recommendations to me by email. As always, there were many different points of view on the issues surrounding gemstone disclosure."

In Tucson, a decision was made to have the members of the steering committee submit their countries' proposals by email for further review and discussion at a meeting to be held in Vancouver prior to the Congress.

Other recommendations for modifications have also been submitted by CIBJO delegates to Veerasaksri for review by the Steering Committee. These include a proposal for a simpler version of the Blue Book disclosures for application to business-to-business deals, along with minor terminological updates. After consideration by the committee, some of these proposals will be brought up for a vote at the Congress.

Finally, the CIBJO general assembly is expected to ratify the new CIBJO Blue Book for pearls during the congress.

The workgroup to revise the book was made up of cultured pearl experts from around the world, headed by Martin Coeroli of the GIE Perles de Tahiti.

Nomenclature has been the chief issue that has affected consumer confidence in pearls, CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri says. "In the recent past, CIBJO's fight against imitation pearls being called 'pearls' has been rather successful. We're now engaged into a campaign convincing producers, marketers and retailers of cultured pearls to consistently name their products exactly for what they are." He adds that while the new CIBJO Blue Book for pearls would mostly concern nomenclature issues, there would be a long way to go towards a grading system for pearls.

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