We Color the World with Gemstones!
International Non-Profit Organization Serving the Colored Gemstone Industry.

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Monthly newsletter with original content, member's announcements, industry highlights and important colored gemstone news from around the world.
Ambassador's Report

September heralds 
Sri Lanka's 
leading International
Gem & Jewelry Exhibition

31 st August - 3 rd September, 2017

By Altaf Iqbal
ICA Ambassador, Sri Lanka

          Organized by the Sri Lanka Gem & Jewelry Association, this year's edition of the country's leading international Gem and Jewelry show - FACETS - is preparing to showcase the best of the best of Sri Lanka's top most resource.

This year, FACETS promises something for everyone to suit every budget, from fine quality colored gemstones and exquisite jewelry, to branded watches and fashionable costume jewelry. Over the years FACETS has captured the interest of experts and enthusiasts worldwide. This year the exhibition is set to host an impressive number of international stalls featuring merchandise from all over the world.

2016 saw the introduction of the Premier Jewelry Pavilion and the Gem and Jewelry Mart. The purpose of these exhibit areas was to add more versatility and range as well as to ensure that small and medium jewelry enterprises also got their fair share of the spotlight. Given the success of these pavilions, the organizing committee has decided to introduce a Premier Gem Pavilion as well, which will display the most stunning and valuable gems produced in Sri Lanka.

The exhibition also features lapidarist stalls as well as booths that display machinery, equipment, tools, and provide laboratory and certification services. An additional presence this year are industry related academic institutes that cater to the younger generation who are interested in the field, to gain wide knowledge and learn of opportunities available in the industry.

Year after year, Facets has served as a means of highlighting the very best of what Sri Lanka has to offer. The exhibition provides visitors with a very concise view of the operations and products of the local Gem and Jewelry Industry, not just in the form of exquisite gemstones and stunning pieces of jewelry, but through the display of machinery and equipment used for cutting, testing and other processes involved in production.

Facets is an excellent starting point for anyone searching for opportunities in the Gem and Jewelry Trade. Be it via export or import, Facets plays an important role in linking various parties so that all may reap the benefits of the various opportunities the local and global industries have to offer.

The exhibition is organized by t
he Sri Lanka Gem & Jewelry Association (SLGJA) the apex private sector organization jointly with the government's National Gem and Jewelry Authority (NGJA) and the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB).

ICA Jaipur Congress
ICA Jaipur Congress  
Quick Reference Notes 

You do not need to be a member of the ICA to attend the Congress. The registration fees are slightly above those for ICA members.
The Congress registration fees are:
Early Bird Rates (before July 31st, 2017)
ICA Member Delegate - $900
Non-Member Delegate - $1,100
Spouse & Family - $500 (for attending spouse tours & dinners only)
After July 31st, 2017
ICA Member Delegate - $1,100
Non-Member Delegate - $1,250
Spouse & Family - $500 (for attending spouse tours & dinners only)
You may register for the Congress by filling the form on-line and you'll receive the invoice after from the ICA office. After this you may book any tours with  the Congress Committee, see below. 

Register on-line at:

Tours and Events
Regarding tours, the Congress Committee in India is coordinating all of these activities, including booking tours, guides, accommodations. etc.

For more information contact them at: 
These tours are booked according to the vehicle size (number of people per vehicle); Sedans (1-4 people), SUVs (4-6 people). Prices can be found on-line in the links below.
We are hoping the delegates attending the Congress will be free to go sightseeing only after the Congress is over, so the tours listed below are available on the 25th and 26th of October. (However, you can always sneak out and take a tour anytime, and we promise not to tell!)
Spouses and other family or guests are free to book these tours while the Congress is in session.
One day Jaipur Sightseeing Tour
One day tour to the Taj Mahal
One day tour to Ajmer-Pushkar
Two day tour to Ranthambore Tiger Safari (overnight stay at hotel)
Visit to the Gems & Jewelry Industrial Zone of Jaipur
The Tour will take place on 25th October 2017 on SIC basis. We will start from the Hotel after Breakfast. It will be half day tour. 
One tour that you would most definitely have to coordinate on your own accord is the famous Palace on Wheels Tour - a train ride along India for 7 nights and 8 days departing from Delhi, more information here:

Diwali Festival before Congress
The Diwali Festival happens right before the Congress so you may want to travel a few days before to enjoy the local flavor in Jaipur.

The Fairmont Hotel has been booked in its entirety by the Jaipur Congress Committee, with a flat room rate of US$160. So, as soon as you register and pay, your room will be reserved for the duration of the Congress.
The hotel rates from 17th -26th  will be US$ 160 + Govt Tax . For dates earlier or later then this, you should contact the Congress Committee at: 
Hope to see you in Jaipur!

Jaipur Congress Executive Organizer


At the age of four, Yianni Melas heard a story that Napoleon Bonaparte had given his great-great-grandfather a sword studded with jewels. And even better, a piece of this treasure was apparently buried in the backyard. Soon thereafter, Melas' backyard in Greece became filled with holes, as he embarked on what has now evolved as a lifetime's search for treasure.

Melas' love for gems also grew from visits to his godfather's jewelry store. Having family roots from San Benito Texas, he was sent to school in the United States in 1974, and eventually found his way to the Gemological Institute of America. After graduating, he became an instructor at the GIA and was known for his dynamic teaching style. He was also involved in helping catalogue the John Sinkankas library of ancient, antique and contemporary books, which was acquired by GIA in the 1980s. He became even more engrossed in gems, with a growing passion to follow these gems to their source.

While at the GIA, Melas met Helmut Swarovski, CEO of the renowned optics and glass empire, based in Austria. Melas and Swarovski bonded immediately through their love of gems and decided together to begin Swarovski's first Natural Gemstone Division.  Soon thereafter, Melas began working for Swarovski by acquiring rough from several remote locations around the world.  He focused on making connections with local people everywhere he went, and through this work began to see the positive effects the gem trade could have in developing nations.

Of his experiences in remote locations, Melas says: "Being a rough gem trader is like being a correspondent for CNN. You can never say where you're going next; it depends on where the action is! It is interesting to note that God never placed major finds of gems close to metropolitan areas. Instead, they are located some place where there's malaria or elephantitis, or where native people might chase you with spears and machetes.  You think of the most miserable places on earth and that's where God sprinkled gemstones. Its like he put them there in hopes that the people could make something of their lives from them."

Nonetheless, Melas has enormous respect for the people he has met in distant localities. "Individuals want to work with pride instead of being given handouts," explains Melas; this mantra he says is based upon his vast experiences in the field. 

In 2004, after fourteen years at Swarovski, he joined the Lev Leviev Group, a leading diamond manufacturer. Through his work he sought to develop Botswana's gem industry, with the belief that supporting an industry with business opportunities would help create jobs, and would allow self-empowerment to thrive.

After completing a series of goals in Botswana on behalf of Leviev, Melas met well-known American designer, David Yurman. A long friendship based on their mutual love of jewelry, gems and quarter horses began then. Melas became a personal gemstone adviser to Mr. David Yurman for several years. In 2010, Melas decided to embark on his own jewelry design collection. 

In 2011 he was given the great honor to be the "Master of Ceremonies" for the international event, "Mines To Market" a prestigious, Indian government sponsored series of talks taking place in Jaipur. In  October 2017 he was asked by the ICA (International Colored Stone Organization to be the Executive Organizer of the most prestigious conference on Colored Stones. Furthermore, he was once again been asked by the Indian Government specifically the Trade Ministry to be the Master Coordinator and MOC for the International  "2019 Mines to Market" Conference in Jaipur. This year he is launching his trademarked jewelry brand, YIANNI MELAS™. More recently, Melas was made a Director for Florida-based treasure exploration company, Blue Water Ventures, with projects in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. In addition he will also hold the posts of Chief Gemologist and Designer.
In 2017 he was voted as Adviser to the globally recognized "Ethical Metalsmiths Organization". He has been a speaker at several international conferences and 
Universities over the years including AGA-Accredited Gemologist's Association in Tucson 2017 as well as for Inorgenta Gem and Jewelry show 2017 in Munich. He is a regular guest for Gemporia TV out of the U.K. where he is a kind of celebrity and expert for the live Jewelry Chanel. 
In 2015 VOGUE PARIS named him the "Modern Indiana Jones of our century." His adventures are followed by nearly twenty thousand loyal fans on his Instagram page GEMEXPLORER. In 2015 he became part of the history books when he discovered a brand new blue green gem in Africa, never discovered before, which he named AQUAPRASE™. Famous Author Antoinette Matlins named it the first gem discovery of the 21st Century in her 2016 book on gems.  In 2016 he launched a new electric cobalt blue spinel called SANTORINITE™ whose color resembles the colors of the blue domes of Santorini. 
In Botswana Africa, the leading newspaper of the country "The Weekend Post" named him one of the most influential leaders of their diamond beneficiation as well as instrumental in lobbying for the building of the Gemological Institute of America in their capital.  

Today, Mr. Melas is based out of Limassol, Cyprus, designing and creating jewelry that is inspired by his world travels.  He is the designer  and inventor of several jewelry patents and trademarks. But while Yianni's love for jewelry design may keep him occupied for the moment, all it takes to send him packing is a simple whiff of buried treasure - somewhere across the globe. 

in the Office!

Our entire NYC office staff with ICA Treasurer Marcelo Ribeiro of the Belmont emerald mine, and Clarissa Maciel, Manager International Affairs at IBGM. IBGM sponsors our ICA Receptions in
Hong Kong and Tucson!

ICA News
Voting for ICA Directors
China, Europe, and the US

The replacement of Directors occurs every two years as terms end for some and not for others. This year we are replacing four Directors, one from China, Europe, Israel, and the U.S.  With only one member nominated for the Israeli Director's position, voting is only taking place three regions, China, Europe, and the U.S.. Results will be announced at the Jaipur Congress in late October.

ICA Office Staff Hard at Work
Your NEW ICA Website!

The Gem by Gem section is being completely reworked 
and our Facebook followers are loving it!

Spotlight on Spinel 
by Debbie Yonick
Stepping into the spotlight as an August birthstone, Spinel is energizing a new generation of gem aficionados with fresh color choices and meaningful ways to celebrate life. (click on the image to read more).

The Traditional Birthstone for August: PERIDOT
by Carol Besler

You don't need a special reason to wear the freshest summer color in the gemstone palette. (click on the image to read more).

September's Sensational Sapphire
by Deborah Yonick

Sapphire, hailed by many gem experts and trends trackers as the most popular color stone on the market. (click on the image to read more).

Fourth Generation
ICA Member!

Our India Ambassador,
Mehul Durlabhji, and his son, Keshav, fourth generation ICA member!


Industry News
INTERGEM Idar-Oberstein - 30. Sept. - 3. Oct. 2017

Trust is what it's all about. This year's INTERGEM, from 30 September to 3 October in Idar-Oberstein, will revolve around the issue of trust, among other things.

The trade fair brings together the concentrated expertise and integrity of the region's specialists like no other industry event.

"The concentrated expertise available at the trade fair is unique," says Managing Director of the trade fair, Kai-Uwe Hille. "During these uncertain times with increasingly non-transparent global markets and competition from the internet, it is becoming increasingly important to trust in established expertise and in the integrity of traditional family-managed companies as opposed to anonymous sources. This year's agenda for our supporting programme therefore features podium discussions and talks on the topic of trust".
India's New GST:
What You Need to Know

RAPAPORT... India's much-anticipated goods and services tax (GST) took effect on July 1, drawing both praise and criticism from the diamond and jewelry industry. The tax - which Prime Minister Narendra Modi dubbed the "good and simple tax" - replaces a complex list of national and regional levies with one overriding system for taxing transactions. 
However, analysts and industry players have noted that it's not as simple as the government promised, sparking a debate on what its benefits are. 
The trade has welcomed the new 3% tax on jewelry - including gold and polished diamonds - as many feared a higher rate. However, that replaces a 1% excise duty and 1% value-added tax imposed by individual states, meaning the industry will still pay more tax than it did under the old regime.

Kenya Mining Forum
15-16 November 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya

With the official support of the Ministry of Mining, Kenya Mining Forum promises to deliver an essential platform for key stakeholders in the industry in order to facilitate and accelerate the development of their operations as well as the mining sector in Kenya.

* Strategic conference: Providing insights into hot legal issues, commodity trends, productivity tools for your operations and address power supply shortages.

* B2B indoor trade expo: Featuring leading technology and innovative services covering the value chain of the mining industry.

* FREE technical workshops: Enhancing and educating the mines personnel expertise on the field (artisanal mining, gemstones and commodities)

* 2nd edition of the CEO round tables: Coming back on the key issues between public and private stakeholders, driven by the Cabinet Secretary.

Oh Canada!
Visiting New York ICA

And we had a visit from Canadian ICA Director, gemmologist, and geologist, Warren Boyd, here with Gary.  Warren brought out a few Montana sapphires for show and tell. Beautiful! 

  This is the ICA office staff, at your service,
we are just an e-mail away.
Gary Roskin
Executive Director

Claudiu Margarit
Office Manager
Ana Gomez
Office Assistant
Cherie Yuen
Exhibitions Manager
Cecilia Echeverri
Comunications & Marketing

ica(at) |