ICA Newsletter | December 2021
The ICA Newsletter is a monthly publication chock full of gemstone news, including reports from the country Ambassadors, industry news, the latest from auctions and laboratories worldwide, events and exhibitions in the trade and celebrities donning the best gem-set jewelry creations.
InColor Winter 2020 issue #45 Morenci Turquoise

Turquoise, Tanzanite, Blue Zircon, & Lapis Lazuli
Birthstones for December

Tradeshow Updates
UPDATED Trade Shows
VicenzaORO the Jewellery Boutique Show
 - on schedule for January 21-26, 2022
GJX Show Tucson 2022
 - on schedule for February 01-06, 2022
AGTA GemFair Tucson 2022
 - on schedule for February 01-06, 2022
Informa Markets JGT Dubai 2022
 - on schedule for February 22-24, 2022
HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show
- on schedule for March 3-7, 2022

Antique Jewelry & Watch Show Las Vegas 2022
 - on schedule for June 9-12, 2022

JCK Las Vegas 2022
 - on schedule for June 10-13, 2022
Jewellery & Gem ASIA Hong Kong
- on schedule for June 16-19, 2022
The International Jewellery & Watch Fairs - Sydney
- on schedule for August 27-29, 2022

Jewellery & Gem WORLD Hong Kong
- on schedule for September 15-19, 2022
ICA President Clement Sabbagh
Keynote Speaker
Global Gems and Jewelry Development Conference Hainan, China
The Gems & Jewelry Trade Association of China will be holding its 2022 Global Gems and Jewelry Development Conference, January 7-10.

This hybrid event will be held at the Hainan International Convention and Exhibition Center in Haikou, Hainan, China.

Leading off the event as the keynote speaker will be ICA president Clement Sabbagh, reviewing the challenges of colored gemstone trade in 2021, and looking at the future of 2022.

Ms. Ying Wang, MarcoPolo Artwork Trading Co., Ltd. will report on the "Launch of the Chinese Colored Gemstone Industry Report," followed by ICA's Lifetime Achievement recipient, Mr. Prida Tiasuwan, Pranda Group, looking at "How the colored gemstone industry achieves SDG17 goals."

ICA member and major supporter, Mr. Sean Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields, will speak on "The current ruby market--mining, production, supply chain, and innovation," followed by Ms. Paloma Sanchez, presenting "The combination of European and Chinese culture in jewelry design."
Guillermo Galvis, Appointed to ICA Board of Directors
Guillermo Galvis, president of ACODES Colombian Emerald Exporters Association, has been appointed to the ICA Board of Directors.

Galvis is a specialist in Colombian emeralds, with a wide range of experience from mining, manufacturing (cutting), purchasing and global distribution.

For over two decades, Galvis has been a member and strong supporter of ICA. He is also a board member of CDTEC, the Colombian government laboratory for emerald research and certification, a founding board member of the Asia-Pacific Gemstone and Technology Standardization Alliance, as well as a board member of Fedesmeraldas, the Colombian Federation that represents exporters, dealers and producers of Colombian emeralds.
ICA CEO Gary Roskin 2022 Recipient of the AGA Bonanno
Award for Excellence in Gemology
The Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA) has announced that the recipient of the 2022 AGA Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology is ICA's CEO, Gary Roskin. Gary joins twenty-five of the world’s leading gemologists upon receiving this award.

The Bonanno Award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the gemological field. Recipients of the award are selected by a majority vote of the AGA membership.

“Gary Roskin’s contributions to the gemological community are many, and yet there is one common theme: knowledge worth attaining is also worth sharing,” stated former AGA President, Stuart Robertson. “It isn’t just what Gary knows—and he knows a lot more about the various aspects of gemology than I could ever hope to learn—it’s his dedication to passing on that knowledge that is notable. Through decades of accomplishments and success in very different areas of the industry, Gary Roskin has remained a teacher at heart,” said Robertson.

"Gary epitomizes everything the Bonanno Award represents. As a laboratory gemologist, Gary has distinguished himself as a leading expert in diamond grading. His contributions to gemological literature are many. His book, Photo Masters For Diamond Grading, remains the authoritative text on the subject. As a journalist he earned a reputation of always being open to discussing opposing views, while remaining committed to presenting the facts of a story, even if unflattering for the trade."

Roskin has had a hand in teaching many of the gemologists we admire today. In that regard, one could say that Gary Roskin’s dedication shares a commonality with Antonio C. Bonanno’s distinguished career. Roskin is recognized for a life-long body of exceptional contributions to gemology that is firmly rooted in a desire that students, colleagues and peers not only achieve but exceed their own expectations.

The AGA Gemological Conference and Gala Dinner/Dance, including award ceremony are scheduled for February 2nd, 2021.
ICA's Gemstone Industry & Laboratory Conference
GILC - Monday January 31st, 2021 Tucson
ICA's Gemstone Industry & Laboratory Conference (GILC) will take place on Monday January 31st, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona during the largest gathering of gem & minerals shows in the world.

The topic of the conference will be Low Temperature Heat Treatment of Corundum.

For over two decades, the GILC, organized by the International Colored Gemstone Association, and supported by AGTA, has provided a space for industry peers to discuss worldwide gemstone issues like ethical practices, nomenclature, consumer confidence, terminology and accurate use of professional gem laboratories.

The GILC is an invitation only event for all active ICA members. Become a member! Apply now!
Industry News
7,525-carat Emerald; One of the Largest Emeralds Discovered in Africa

The emerald was named Chipembele – which translates to ‘rhino’ in the local Bemba dialect and the largest – to date, followed by the 6,225-carat Insofu meaning ‘elephant’ mined in 2010 and the 5,655-carat Inkalamu or ‘lion’ in 2018.  
According to UK-based Gemfields, which owns and operates the emerald mine in partnership with the Zambian government’s Industrial Development Corporation, the naming of uncut emeralds is a practiced tradition reserved for the rarest and most remarkable gems.

The gemstone was discovered in July by geologists Manas Banerjee and Richard Kapeta - leader of the team who also discovered Inkalamu in October 2018 - whose team were surprised by the discovery and remarked that the gemstone looked like a rhino’s horn, hence its name.

According to Jackson Mtonga, assistant manager, Kagem Sort House, ...

Gem Industry Welcomes Basil’s ‘Hub’ Proposal

The gem industry has welcomed Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s Budget 2022 proposal of positioning Sri Lanka as an international hub for precious stones.

“Reviving the ailing gem industry will help increase exports and contribute generously to the country’s dwindling dollar reserves,” the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association said. It said incoherent strategies by successive governments enabled non-gem producing countries such as Thailand and Hong Kong to steal the status of a gem hub from Sri Lanka.

“The proposal by Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa in his Budget to reinstate Sri Lanka as an International gem hub is commendable,” the Association said.

It said that achieving the proposed gem hub status would be ...

GAMMA: The ICA | GemLab Journal
ICA | GemLab

GAMMA Vol. 2 Issue 1

Mr. Sammuang Kaewen who was regarded as the father of corundum heating in Thailand.

You will read about GEMFAIR, a program that is bringing diamonds from artisanal sources to market in a formal, ethical, and sustainable way. Your will meet Ami Doshi who believes that the home or context of jewellery is the human body, the most poignant storyteller of all. Jewellery as an adornment is our way of telling the world… “this is who I am, what I stand for or simply…my identity”. You will meet Thai entrepreneur Proud Limpongpan of Ennovie, a forward-thinking jewellery manufacturing company based in Thailand, who are working on a sustainability report so that clients are proud to tell their customers they produce with them in Thailand and that the jewellery production at Ennovie causes the least carbon emission possible.

Rio Tinto Now Sole Owner of Diavik Mine

In a deal that bolsters certainty for the future of the Diavik Mine and Northwest Territories' economy, Rio Tinto has acquired full ownership of this iconic diamond operation in Canada's Arctic.
Rio Tinto's 40% partner in Diavik, Dominion Diamond Mines, filed for insolvency protection under the Canadian Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act at the height of the COVID pandemic in 2020.
"The CCAA filing was necessitated primarily by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," Dominion Diamond Mines penned in an April 2020 statement. "Although the company has strong diamond inventory, sorting houses and diamond markets are closed. These are key channels to facilitate the sale of the company's inventory, so currently there is no ability to generate sufficient revenue to support Dominion's ongoing financial obligations."
The bankruptcy of one of the Diavik Mine owners added further uncertainty for Northwest Territories, which was already reeling from the financial blow to an economy driven largely by its diamond mining sector. ...

FURA Gems Presents Rare-Colour Australian Sapphires

Unveiling unique rare-coloured sapphires from Australia, FURA Gems has announced the first-ever, organized, global auction of Australian sapphires that will take place between November 15 and 23 at Silom19 Building in Bangkok. The auction will see FURA exhibit a mammoth volume of over 900,000 carats of natural sapphire roughs in rare colours of exotic blue, teal, yellow, green and multi-hued ‘parti’ for a select group of buyers.

Over 50 clients from Bangkok, Australia, Canada, and India will participate in the inaugural sapphire auction. Sharing his passion about these wondrous gemstones, Dev Shetty, Founder & CEO, FURA Gems, said, “Sapphires have been extremely popular with erstwhile and modern-day royalty. We recognize the rich legacy and timeless appeal of these exotic gems. Australian sapphires are the unsung heroes of the global gemstone industry. Discovered in Queensland a century and a half ago, sapphires have since been unearthed by Australian miners in a rainbow of colours that buyers around the world rarely get to see. Exploring the enormous range of Australian sapphires has been a journey of discovery for FURA Gems.”

Furthering its vision to organize and rebuild the largely unorganized global sapphire gemstone industry, FURA Gems is ...

Burmese Rubies: Costly and Controversial

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has long been a producer of some of the world’s priciest gemstones: pigeon’s blood rubies. Known by their deep, natural red fluorescence with blue hues, they command higher prices per carat than any precious stone on the global market, with the exception of colored diamonds.

But political conflict and trade embargoes have made rubies from Myanmar highly controversial for more than a decade, creating complicated sourcing problems for jewelers. Many now buy gems mined in neighboring countries or in Mozambique — and routinely require dealers to provide detailed documentation that gems did not originate in Myanmar.

“Today, the mines of Myanmar are no longer producing large or gem-quality stones, but demand is high and supply very limited,” said Vincent Pardieu, a world-renowned field gemologist, explaining that the government suspended mining licenses in 2016. “Today, 99 percent of Burmese rubies found on the market were extracted decades, even centuries ago.”

Rubies, along with jade, blue sapphires, spinels, peridots, aquamarines and a large variety of other gemstones, are found in a rich geological arc straddled by Myanmar, Thailand, India, Pakistan and Nepal. But as mining has been relatively uncontrolled for generations, ...

How Turquoise Replaced Emeralds in This Royal Diadem

Once gifted by Napoleon, the heirloom is now bejeweled in December’s birthstone

December’s birthstone, turquoise, comes in many forms — the most notable being pristine sky blue.
At the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, visitors can see pieces of this type of turquoise, called Persian turquoise, in a diadem once owned by Napoleon’s second wife, the Empress Marie Louise.

“The Marie Louise diadem is one of the few spectacular jewelry pieces that survived that era. It represents that period of time in history, showcasing the symbolism and role gems played back in the early 1800s,” said Jeffrey Post, mineralogist and curator-in-charge of gems and minerals at the museum. “But the turquoise pieces were actually latecomers to the diadem.”

During the 1950s, jewelers replaced the diadem’s original emeralds with ...

Afghan Gems Have a Future, a Longtime Dealer Says

In 1972, Gary Bowersox, a Vietnam War veteran who had owned several retail jewelry stores in Hawaii, paid his first visit to Afghanistan. Determined to grow his burgeoning gem dealing business, he was attracted by the country’s 7,000-year-old deposits of lapis lazuli at Sar-i-Sang in Badakhshan Province, which for millenniums have drawn traders to this ancient crossroads on the border of what is now Tajikistan.
It would become the first of many trips, the most recent of which was less than three months before the Taliban regained control of the country and Western forces withdrew their troops.

“I had met an Afghan going to school in Hawaii whose father was the lead geologist at Kabul University, so that was my entree to the country,” Mr. Bowersox, now 81, recalled in mid-October on a video call from his home in Honolulu.

“We met every night and he gave me lectures on all the different mining situations,” he said. “They had very detailed maps and reports, mostly done by the Russians, and that was the basis of my book, ‘Gemstones of Afghanistan,’ published in 1995. It hasn’t really changed since then.” ...

Danat Examines Over 10 Million Pearls in 4 Years

The Bahrain Institute of Pearls and Gemstones (DANAT) announced that it has examined over 10 million pearls in eth past 4 years since it was established, an unprecedented achievement that solidifies its position as the world’s most prominent laboratory for testing pearls.

DANAT Chief Executive Officer, Noora Jamsheer, stated that this result affirms the Kingdom of Bahrain’s wise decision to establish DANAT.

“With the establishment of DANAT, we have managed to boost the Kingdom’s reputation as the centre of pearl trading and to position ourselves as the leading country in pearl certification,” Mrs. Jamsheer said. …

Why the Return of Glyptic Gemstones Heralds a Dazzling New Era in Jewellery

One of the most ancient jewellery crafts able to turn any material – whether as precious as emerald or as humble as wood – into a dazzling adornment is known as glyptic art, or the art of carving hardstones.

The earliest known evidence of glyptic art comes from China, where a pair of carved agate earrings from the fifth millennium BC were recovered. In addition, a series of miniature falcon silhouettes sculpted in gold and turquoise were found in an Egyptian tomb dating from 3040BC.

The term is derived from the Greek word gluptikos and glyptics initially referenced the art of engraving precious stones to create a raised design in the form of a cameo or otherwise a hollowed-out design known as intaglio. Cameos became popular again during the Renaissance and reached their apogee with Napoleon Bonaparte.

The French emperor, eager to legitimise his power by referencing the quintessential Roman symbols, championed the art of cameo and had his image engraved numerous times. Napoleon's support for glyptic art culminated in founding a school of engraving in Paris and, in 1805, extending the prestigious Prix de Rome (reserved for painters, sculptors and architects) to engravers.

Nowadays, glyptic art seems to be back to the centre stage of jewellery.

In its latest high jewellery collection Sixième Sens, Cartier ...

Pakistani Jewellery Gaining Foothold in China via Branding and Live e-Commerce
China Economic Net

SHANGHAI, Nov. 26 (China Economic Net) – Earlier in this month, Pakistani gemstones glittering at the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE), the first and largest import-themed expo globally, were much appreciated by Chinese visitors. They were impressed by the exquisitely designed high-end jewellery from Pakistan. 
According to the brand owner, after participating in the last year’s CIIE, their store-sales have grown 40-50% on year-on-year basis, confirming CIIE’s great boost to foreign businesses, and more significantly, the expanding recognition of Pakistani jewellery in China.
Breath-taking Pakistani jewellery on show at the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) impresses Chinese visitor a lot. [Photo/Wang Xiaotong]
Giant leap in Pak gemstone exports to China in 2021
Facilitated by China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) Phase Ⅱ, Pakistan’s gemstone export tariff to China dropped from 17%-32% to zero. In the first three quarters of 2021, as per China Customs, Pakistan’s exports of raw gemstones to China are 9.6 times those of the same period in 2020, in the context of meanwhile the country’s total exports to China skyrocketing to $2.5 billion, a strong year-on-year growth of 77%. 
Specifically, Pakistan’s precious stones including ...
World-first Australian Rough Sapphires Auction a “Big Success”

Australian jewellery supplier, SAMS Group managed to secure a large portion of rare sapphires at an international gemstone auction billed as the “world’s first and largest rough sapphire auction.”

FURA Gems conducted the auction that was held in Bangkok last week and offered more than 900,000 carats of “unique, rarely seen, only natural and untreated rough sapphires with a wide range of colours including blue, teal, green, parti and yellow.”

The roughs were sourced from Capricorn Sapphire and Great Northern Mining in central Queensland – all sapphires are mined from its mines in Anakie. According to the company’s announcement, the cumulative mining area is around 20-square kilometres, making FURA the largest international supplier of sapphires.

FURA’s sapphire production in 2021 has been 5.5 million carats.

SAMS Group Australia participated in the auction and CEO Steve Der Bedrossian said: “We were fortunate enough to acquire 28 of 95 (47%) lots amounting to more than 430,000 carats of ethically-sourced rough Australian sapphires that will be boomeranging its way back into Australia to satisfy our local jewellery industry.

We are pleased to bring back home Australia sapphires, ...

Gemfields Promotes Phillips’ Treasures from Zambia

The collector of the largest collection of Zambian emeralds ever to be offered at auction offers glimpses into how he selected such fine gemstones, explains what attracted him to Zambian emeralds and imparts advice to those looking to buy an emerald of their own.

Gemfields is delighted to promote Phillips’ Treasures from Zambia: An Exceptional Emerald Collection, which is the largest collection of Zambian emeralds ever to be offered at auction. Comprising over 45 lots, the collection includes 993 carats of breath-taking fine Zambian emeralds. Bidding is open from 23 November until 2 December 2021, and part of the proceeds are set to benefit the Gemfields Foundation.
Zambian emeralds make rare appearances at auction. Discovered more recently than their Colombian counterparts, but far older in formation, Zambian emeralds were seldom seen on royalty or stars of the silver-screen prior to the 1970s, as the majority of the fine gemstones we see today remained unearthed until that time, sleeping deep under the Zambian soil. It is perhaps for this reason that Colombian emeralds have commanded a premium, for it certainly cannot be said that Zambian emeralds are inferior in quality. On the contrary, their composition lends itself to superior levels of clarity and size and a distinctive vivid bluish green colour, which adds to the overall depth of the gem. Examples originating from Gemfields’ Kagem mine in Zambia have been seen to demonstrate the very best that nature can offer. ...

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.
In the hopes to be of service to members, the ICA has put together this small compendium of resources related to COVID-19 and its challenges and opportunities.
Promote your business in ICA's website. It has over 40,000 pageviews per month. There are several placements and special prices.

Promote your business in ICA's Newsletter, it goes out to over 10,000 subscribers every month. Get a monthly banner and be seen by the industry.

December Birthstones
Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Tanzanite, Blue Zircon

In many cultures of the Old and New Worlds, this gemstone has been esteemed for thousands of years as a holy stone, a bringer of good fortune or a talisman. It really does have the right to be called a 'gemstone of the peoples'. The oldest evidence for this claim was found in Egypt, where grave furnishings with turquoise inlay were discovered, dating from approximately 3000 B.C..

In the ancient Persian kingdom, the sky-blue gemstones were earlier worn round the neck or wrist as protection against unnatural death. If they changed colour, the wearer was thought to have reason to fear the approach of doom. Meanwhile, it has been discovered that the turquoise certainly can change colour, but that this is not necessarily a sign of impending danger. The change can be caused by the light, or by a chemical reaction brought about by cosmetics, dust or the acidity of the skin. ...

ICA Office Update
December 2021
Greetings from the ICA,

Business is Good
Even though supply chains have been disrupted, and shipping businesses like FedEx, DHL, and UPS are strained to the max, we hear that the colored gemstone business - so far - has been very good. It could be we are all getting used to doing business in both traditional and non-traditional methods. You are becoming better photographers with your phone. You are dropping more images and videos into WhatsApp. You are doing what needs to be done.

In-Person Trade Shows - still keeping our hopes high!
The Tucson GJX and AGTA GemFair are on schedule for February 1-6, and we plan to see everyone there.

Amazing effort! Our GJX, Gem & Jewelry Exchange pavilion has doubled in size, with now over 40 member exhibitors!

The GILC, Gem Industry & Laboratory Conference, on Monday, January 31st, is an invitation only event for all active ICA members. A full report of the conference will be available in the following InColor Magazine and on the ICA's website, www.Gemstone.org.

Tucson Show Guide - a marketing tool for exhibitors
If you are an ICA member and an exhibitor in Tucson - anywhere in Tucson - you need to update your contact information and send us your company logo for the show guide. Our Tucson show guide is picked up by thousands of buyers every year and is a terrific way to let clients, current and potential, know where you are and what you have. To complete your Show Guide listing, click here
For advertising opportunities, click here

One more reminder! AEM - Do not forget to complete your annual renewal!
You have all received your annual membership dues notice, so now is the time to renew your AEM re-certification. This is an annual renewal, so you must log in and complete the forms to retain your AEM status. If you have not yet completed your AEM accreditation, you should know that as an active ICA member, you can become an AEM today and show the world! Here is the link: AEM NOW.
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 (Claudiu, Cecilia, and Maggie),
Best wishes, keep healthy and stay safe,
Gary Roskin
Chief Executive Officer