ICA Newsletter | April 2022
The ICA Newsletter is a monthly publication chock full of gemstone news, including ICA member news, industry news, the latest from gem laboratories worldwide, gem mining activities, events and exhibitions in the trade, and celebrities donning the best gem-set jewelry creations.
image by Gary A. Roskin
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ICA News
GGTL Laboratories Liechtenstein Opens Belgium Lab for Fancy Color Diamond Testing
ICA News

ICA member GGTL Laboratories Liechtenstein is proud to announce that on Monday May 2nd, 2022, we are opening our new diamond testing laboratory in Antwerp, Belgium – the diamond capital of the world. With this addition to our headquarters in Liechtenstein we can offer an easier, faster, and more cost-effective option for the markets outside of Switzerland and Liechtenstein to get access to our diamond testing services.
Being specialized in fancy color diamonds, we will supply the market crucial diamond testing services in the easily accessible hub at the Diamantclub van Antwerpen (DCVA).
In a time with colored melee diamonds being more and more polluted by treated and particularly synthetic diamonds, the screening of such goods has become of utmost importance. GGTL Laboratories Liechtenstein – founded in 1996 and directed by Dr. Thomas Hainschwang – is one of the very few laboratories to offer full testing for colored melee diamonds in all colors, sizes and shapes. We will emphasize our leading market position in the testing of such colored melee diamonds with the new GGTL Belgium laboratory being especially well equipped to tackle large quantities of colored melee diamonds.
Industry News
The Influence of Colour in High Jewellery
Through the Decades

Coloured gemstones are the artist’s palette for the jeweller with exciting discoveries heralding new designs and new trends

Rainbows, hand-painted by children and posted on the front windows of homes across the land, became one of the enduring images of the coronavirus pandemic. They symbolised hope and solidarity, their cheerful colours a morale-booster for all. Nature’s meteorological spectrum of vibrant hues also served as a different form of inspiration, enthusing jewellery designers to look at mother earth’s broad palette of gemstones and piling them all together into rainbow-coloured jewels.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck Are Engaged—Get Your First Look at Her Green Diamond Engagement Ring

Lopez confirmed swirling engagement rumors in her newsletter, where she shared a video of the stunning pale-green piece.
Nearly a year after Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck rekindled their romance, they are officially headed for the aisle (again!). Days after the bride-to-be was photographed wearing a sparkler on her left ring finger, she took to her newsletter, On the JLo, to confirm the news. In it, the singer and actress posted a video which captures her, clearly emotional, as she admires the unique engagement ring—the stunning piece boasts a center green gem flanked with two diamonds.

Global Interest in Sri Lankan Sapphires Tremendous
Gem and Jewellery Association
The Sunday Observer

Interest in Sri Lankan sapphires following the successful completion of ‘Expo 2022 Dubai’ has been tremendous, said Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association Chairman Ajward Deen on the sidelines of the media briefing last week organised by the Gem and Jewellery Association, Sri Lanka Tourism and participants of the Dubai Expo.

“We are highly pleased with the outcome of the expo which attracted enormous interest on Sri Lankan sapphire and other precious stones from buyers across the globe,” Deen said.

Officials of the Association said they cannot put a figure but there has been keen interest from buyers in Europe and USA on Sri Lankan sapphire. Exports from gem and jewellery had been around US $ 300 million last year.

The target this year to get near the US $ 500 million mark, according to the Association.

The Lankan pavilion had been buzzing with visitors who had first hand experience of the largest single assortment of sapphire masterpieces worth over US4 100 million.

Women Venture into Zimbabwe’s
Aquamarine Mining Sector
A first of its kind in Africa, Zimbabwe’s Zimbaqua mine is uniquely employing an entirely female workforce.
Located near Karoi, a town 200 km northwest of the capital Harare, Zimbaqua is changing the lives of women in the region.
Zimbaqua provides relief to the plight of women in the region, most of them unemployed. “My family suffered a great deal before I joined the mine,” said Sylvia Mugova, a miner and mother of five. “My children were consistently suspended from school due to lack of fees. My husband does not work. We also take care of my mother-in-law. All I wanted was an opportunity to provide for my family, and mining has given me that.”

and from news.trust.org

Minerals, Gem Traders
Could Help in Fighting Smuggling

Traders and dealers in minerals must chip in to aid the fight against smuggling of precious stones as it leads to huge losses in uncollected revenues, the sector minister, Dotto Biteko has declared.

Beyond Oil and Gas: Nigeria's Extractive Industry

The Nigerian extractive industry has diverse minerals in substantial deposits, particularly in its solid mineral sector. About 31 solid minerals are found in substantial quantities, spread across the entire country. They include limestone, laterite, gold, coal, bitumen, iron ore, tantalite/columbite, lead/zinc sulfides, barytes, cassiterite, gemstones, talc, feldspar, and marble. Some of these minerals are in commercial deposits, meaning the country can generate revenue from them via export. However, the extractive industry has been dominated for decades by the oil and gas sector, Nigeria’s top foreign earner – which has taken the spotlight for years.

The oil sector boasts of 40 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, holding 29 per cent of Africa’s overall oil deposit, while the gas reserves are 160 trillion cubic meters. Nigeria’s dependence on the oil and gas sector has limited it from harnessing the potential embedded in its solid mineral selector. 

It is estimated that the level of exploitation of these solid minerals. so far, is nothing compared to what has been discovered. 

Gemfields Achieves Record Revenue for Sold Out March/April Auction

Gemfields recorded a record $42.3-million in revenue from the sale of emeralds sourced from its Zambia-based Kagem mine, at auctions of predominantly commercial-quality rough emeralds held in Jaipur, India, from March 15 to April 1.

Of the 32 lots offered – 4.52-million carats in total – all were 100% sold out. Fifty-six companies placed bids and an average price of $9.37/ct was achieved – another record for Kagem’s commercial-quality auctions.

Eighteenth Annual Sinkankas Symposium
– Alexandrite and Other Color-Change Gemstones

Named for one of the most distinguished and influential figures in gemology and mineralogy, the Sinkankas Symposium is an annual event featuring presentations by noted specialists working in diverse gem-related disciplines.

The theme of the Eighteenth Annual Sinkankas Symposium is Alexandrite and Other Color-Change Gemstones and will be in a virtual format this year. The virtual experience will feature a menu of 10 pre-recorded 30-minute exclusive presentations available to view on-demand from Monday, April 25, 2022 until Monday, June 6, 2022 on the Sinkankas Eventbrite page. You will be required to register in order to have access to these presentations.

The Sinkankas Symposium has been described as the most important gemological conference in North America by respected authorities on gemstones. Organized by Roger Merk for 13 years (2003–2015), this year's event is co-sponsored by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the Geo-Literary Society and the Gemological Society of San DiegoBill Larson has been a generous supporter and speaker at the event since its inception.

UA Museum Offers New Opportunities for Learning
The Daily Wildcat

The University of Arizona’s new Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum in downtown Tucson is an ode to the Tucson community and its gem and mineral enthusiasts. A glittering collection of gems and minerals has taken up residence in the historic Pima County Courthouse and is now open to the public. 

Before the new museum opened, the university’s own collection of gems and minerals was housed primarily in the lower level of Flandrau Science Center on campus. 

“There were a couple of issues,” Joaquin Ruiz, the executive director of the museum, explained. “The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is one of the most important events that our city has. We have an amazing collection of minerals and gems at the University of Arizona and they were occluded in the basement.”

Ruiz explained that moving the collection to a new location downtown was a win-win. The new museum makes the collection more accessible to the public as well as to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society.

Diamond, Fancy Color - April Birthstone


Natural pink diamonds gain their appearance from subtle alignment changes in the carbon atoms of the diamonds. The scientific gemological term that describes this phenomena is called “atomic distortion.” The arrangements of the atoms in the crystal from the heat and pressure in the earth will determine the color it becomes. This is the same structural anomaly that will cause a diamond to appear red, purple. or brown. Natural pink diamonds exist from pastel and blush shades like cherry blossom to strong saturation like strawberry. Pink diamonds can be modified by, orange, purple, brown and gray.

Member Resources & Initiatives
It is intended that members who undertake this accreditation process will understand more fully their duty of care within the gem and jewelry supply chain. It is designed to be a practical self-audit and a voluntary pledge on responsible sourcing.
We want to make a difference by providing assistance to artisanal mining and cutting communities, which will focus on the key areas of concern: safety, human rights, fair work, inclusiveness, environmental impact, resource sustainability and community amenity.
Images of colored gems from around the globe, plus all aspects of the colored gem industry including mining, cutting, manufacture, gemmological research, education, marketing, design and retailing.
The NEW Members Portal on the ICA's website is open and active. Members have been able to network easily and it's not just for catching up with old friends and making new ones, but for making new business too.
Promote your business in ICA's website. It has over 40,000 pageviews per month. There are several placements and special prices.

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April Birthstone

One of the more curious passages in the classic book of precious gems by Kunz, reads, "As the diamond does not appear to have been known to the ancients and is not given in any of the lists of birth-stones before the last century [1800s], and as diamonds, like gold and platinum, may easily be used as accessories to other stones, would it not perhaps be better to omit the diamond from the list of the stones of the months, and rather use these gems as a bordering or other ornate addition to the stone of the month?"

Fancy color diamonds were much more rare in the early 1900s, and certainly not as well appreciated then as they are today. We are pleased the the diamond has maintained its own birthstone month.

Mystery of Oregon’s sunstones
Oregon Field Guide

Sunstones are copper-bearing gemstones that come from small areas of Oregon's Columbia River Flood Basalts. But little is known about how Oregon’s official state gemstones are formed.

Geologist Emily Cahoon sets out to uncover the many mysteries of these enigmatic yellow, red, and even blue-green gemstones.

Join “Oregon Field Guide” as we set out to uncover the many mysteries of the official state gemstone ...

University Of Alberta: Ammolite is the Alberta Gemstone
75 Million Years In The Making


Alberta may soon be getting an official gemstone, as the provincial government recently announced its intention to add ammolite to the Emblems of Alberta Act, along with current emblems such as the wild rose and petrified wood, Alberta’s official flower and stone.

Though ammolite wasn’t officially recognized as a gemstone until 1981, it’s been around far longer than that. The rock in which ammolite is found is anywhere from 72 million to 75 million years old, according to Lisa Budney, collections and museums administrator in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Fashion Through the Artist’s Lens

Each month we select an item to send to a world-renowned photographer, who in turn interprets the piece through their own unique, artistic lens. The result: Vanity Fair’s Gallery, a jewel box of close looks at high fashion and haute joaillerie.

Blue Crush
A number of settings have housed the world-renowned Tiffany Diamond—of Audrey Hepburn, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé fame—but these flowers and petite leaves wrought in diamond and yellow gold were one of its earliest imagined iterations. The Fleurage bracelet, which Jean Schlumberger sketched in 1958 but never fully realized, has come to life with a gleaming 48-carat aquamarine at its center, in a size and cut similar to that famous pale yellow friend. Nothing but blue skies ahead for this gemstone garden. —Daisy Shaw-Ellis

Dior Fine Jewelry earrings in diamonds, ruby, white gold, and red lacquer

ICA Office Update
April 2022

Greetings from the ICA,

Just looking over the newsletter and I see that there are many more in-person trade shows lined up in this months update than there were in the past few months. While the Hong Kong shows continue to be local, it appears that the industry is working hard to create a new normal.

We are also pleased to see more news features regarding women in the mining sector. For that I am sure it is long overdue.

Just a quick reminder to our members to complete their annual Accredited Ethical Member program so we can expedite their 2022 holographic labels. Responsible practice is not just a catch phrase at ICA. We take our role in the industry seriously.

As always, if we can help with anything from the office, do not hesitate to contact us directly.
On behalf of the President, the Board of Directors, and the ICA office staff (myself, Claudiu and Maggie),
Best wishes, keep healthy and stay safe,
Gary Roskin
Chief Executive Officer