RAPAPORT… Countries should designate locations where colored gemstones
enter the market in a bid to ensure the integrity of the industry’s supply
chain, according to the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO).
CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri called for the introduction of monitored
“chokepoints” — places at which goods pass during shipping. The system would
benefit governments by creating legal pathways for artisanal miners, enabling
them to enter the legitimate distribution chain instead of turning to the black
market, he argued at the World Emerald Symposium in Bogotá, Colombia, last
“Given the wide variety of colored gemstones and the massive
number of small companies involved in their production and distribution, it is
unlikely in the foreseeable future that a single regulatory umbrella body will
be established for the colored-gemstone sector, like the Kimberley Process,”
“But if the trade and government cooperate, on a country-by-country
basis, it may be possible to establish a multitude of chokepoints, which can
verify and certify the integrity of the gemstones in their respective regions
of jurisdiction,” he added.
Those country-focused regulators would be similar to the
national Kimberley Process authorities that currently verify diamond imports in
each jurisdiction, he explained. Several nations are already interested in the
idea, he noted.
Until now, regulators have mainly focused on diamonds and
precious metals, and it’s time for colored gemstones to come on board,
At the symposium, CIBJO presented guidelines for responsible
sourcing, which Cavalieri believes could serve as a set of standards for future
colored-gemstone verification. The event preceded the 2018 CIBJO Congress,
which began Monday in Bogotá.
Image: Rough emerald from the Muzo mine in Colombia.