Unifying role is the main objective of the National Gemological Association

Yuri Shelementiev runs the Gemological Centre (GC) at the Moscow State University and is a president of the National Gemological Association (NGA) uniting the gemologists of Russia. The head of the MSU’ GC and the NGA answered the R&P’s...

15 july 2019

“Our goal is to bring clarity to the offering of Lab Grown Diamonds”, asserts Chris Casey, President, Lab Grown Diamond Council

Chris Casey is a 15-year veteran of the diamond and jewelry industry.  Chris also has extensive experience in market research as Founding Managing Director of the NPD Diamond and Diamond Jewelry Service where his responsibility included the...

08 july 2019

Dr. Michael S. Krzemnicki: Our dedication to scientific research is an important foundation to our expertise

Dr. Michael S. Krzemnicki, PhD, Director of the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF, in an interview with R&P told about the activities and plans of one of the world's leading Gemological laboratories specializing in scientific research of diamonds...

01 july 2019

“Lab-Grown Diamonds is probably the biggest scam this industry has ever seen,”: Leibish Polnauer, Founder-President, Leibish & Co.

An interesting story from the Leibish & Co takes you way back to the year 1979 when young Leibish Polnauer, then a diamond polisher, was travelling to London, having just found out that the factory at which he worked had been shut down. He found an advertisement...

24 june 2019

Botswana mining industry players speak on speculative exploration licences

Speculative mineral exploration licences was a recurring theme from presentations made by three players in Botswana mining industry at a conference convened in Gaborone. The country has issued thousands of exploration licences, across the mining industry...

17 june 2019

Industry leaders endorse jewellery and gemstone sector's 'duty of care'

09 october 2017

The significance and potential impact on the jewellery industry of Regulation (EU) 2017/821, which will control the import into the European Union of gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten from conflict and high-risk areas, came under the spotlight at a seminar for the jewellery industry in Vicenza, organised by CIBJO and the Italian Exhibition Group.
Participants were welcomed by Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO's President, and by Matteo Marzotto, IEG's Executive Vice President.
The seminar, which was moderated by Philip Olden, a consultant to Signet Jewelers and the former managing director of the World Gold Council, brought together a panel of expert speakers, representing government, international and European organisations, business standards organisations and the jewellery, precious metals and gemstone industries.
While the regulatory regime established by the new law will be fully enforced only from January 2021, providing sufficient time for businesses to adapt to its provisions, its basic framework has been outlined in the legislation that was passed by the European Parliament in May. But there are still benchmarks, procedures and requirements that need to be formulated by the European Commission, which will be providing guidance to the business community in the months ahead. This will include a white list of approved refineries and smelters, located both inside and outside of the EU, from which purchases of gold will not trigger automatic third-party auditing requirements.
Panel members included Marten Westrup, Coordinator of Energy and Raw Materials at the European Commission, DG Trade§ explained that the EU's approach to conflict minerals and the recently enacted regulation has the main objective of ensuring sufficient supply chain due diligence in imports of gold and 3Ts from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. He noted that the four-year lead-in time before the requirements are to be met and the setting of thresholds below which importers are exempt from the legal requirements for due diligence are in part meant to meet the concerns of small and medium-sized enterprises. He explained that the thresholds set out in the regulation (100 kilogram per annum for gold) are intended to ensure that at least 95 percent of imports of each metal or mineral are covered, while at the same time underlining that companies without legal obligations under the EU regulation also should carry out due diligence as far as possible.
Hannah Koep-Andrieu, Policy Adviser-Extractives in the Responsible Business Conduct division at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), noted that the five-step process outlined in the OECD's Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas forms the basis of the new EU regulations, and that all companies could begin integrating its requirements into their systems of management, so as to become compliant with the new regime before 2021, regardless of size. She also pointed out that the guidance is applicable to all minerals, and not only gold and the 3Ts.
France Capon, Secretary General of the European Precious Metals Federation (EPMF), outlined the efforts already taken by the members of the European Precious Metals Federation to ensure that the gold they are importing is subject to the type of due diligence outlined in the new EU regulations. She also was critical about the 100-kilogram threshold, saying that it undermined the efforts of other companies seeking to become compliant, while suggesting that it be reduced significantly or eliminated completely.
Relating the experience of the diamond industry in implementing a rigid regulatory system to stem the flow of minerals financing conflict, Stephane Fischler, Acting President of the World Diamond Council (WDC), noted that the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme differs from the EU regulations in that places a significant burden on government, while the European system focuses its attention predominantly on company self-regulation. Nonetheless, he added, while government is more directly involved in monitoring rough diamond imports and exports, diamond companies still need do due diligence, both in maintaining records of KP certificates in the rough diamond trade, and in complying with the WDC System of Warranties in the polished diamond business. While the approach of the Kimberley Process differs from that of the OECD guidance, Mr. Fischler said he is supportive of the principles expressed in the OECD document, and stressed that the industry in general needs to promote a mutual commitment to "a duty of care."
In his concluding remarks, Philip Olden remarked that, while the introduction of the EU regulations will represent a formative moment for both the precious metals and jewellery sectors, the seminar demonstrated that systems are already in place to make compliance more achievable than some may have feared. "If you insist that your bank buy only from LBMA-approved refiners, and you are certified by a code of practices such as that of the Responsible Jewellery Council, then in all likelihood you will have in place all the various elements required to become compliant," he said.
Mr. Olden proposed that the speakers on stage endorse the following statement: "This panel supports the principles of duty of care and supply chain due diligence. We encourage participants in the jewellery supply chain to engage with industry organisations to ensure compliance with industry guidance and standards relating to responsible sourcing." The speakers supported the resolution.

Alex Shishlo, Editor of the Rough&Polished European Bureau in Brussels