ICA Newsletter - August 2018
Report by ICA Director from China,
Chen Shen

Tariffs and Monetary Restrictions in Hong Kong and China That Could Impact the Gemstone Trade
"One of the most important trade shows—the September Hong Kong fair—is coming. There are many things happening in China and Hong Kong, and they could impact the colored stone business. The tit-for-tat tariffs between the USA and China will hit the jewelry business if a trade agreement is not reached soon. Jewelry and jewelry-related products are on the next-round tariff list for the two countries. This will have a greater impact on Chinese jewelry export manufacturers. 
    Things are changing in Hong Kong as well. A new law dictates that any person entering or leaving Hong Kong must make a written declaration if in possession of the equivalent of more than HK$120,000 in cash, or about US$15,200. For those flying from Mainland China to Hong Kong, this law was announced on the plane. We saw more obvious inspections at the Hong Kong airport on a recent trip. And, Hong Kong banks are asking more and more questions about the accounts of diamond and colored gemstone businesses. Big banks are sometimes even forcing companies to close their accounts.
     Although China’s economy is slowing down, the nation's GDP growth will still be over 6% this year. The Chinese stock market is, however, down quite a bit and many local Chinese governments are restricting the growth of the housing market by limiting he number of apartments or houses Chinese can buy. In the past three months, more than 200 P2P personal lending companies collapsed and many investors lost their investment.
    Since the March Hong Kong Show, the Chinese RMB has lost more than 10% against the U.S. dollar. These developments may not, however, necessarily be a bad thing for the colored stone business or the jewelry industry as a whole. There is now a lack of investment opportunities in China. When the stock or housing markets were flying high, people put money into them. Now, Chinese dealers and consumers are buying more stones for inventory or investment.  
    China is still a great market for colored gems. The July retail growth is 5% (even if slow by Chinese standards). In Shanghai, top restaurants are still packed with people. The price of the top Chinese alcoholic drink, Maotai, is at an all time high and difficult to buy through official channels. Colored stones are mostly sold in first- and second-tier cities. Smaller cities, used to buying gold jewelry, are only starting to buy diamonds. Colored stones tend to follow diamond purchases, meaning that the market potential is huge. Will all of this make for a better Hong Kong Show in September? We shall see."

- Chen Shen was born in Shanghai, China. He graduated from the University of Baltimore with B.S. and MBA degrees. He then attended executive programs at the American Management Association. Chen started his career with the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia as a marketing analyst. Later, he joined Schlumberger and spent 15 years with the company in various marketing and management positions around the world.
- Through his travels in Colombia, he fell in love with emeralds. In 2008, Chen started Skywalk Global, a gemstone wholesale business specializing in Colombian emeralds. In 2015, he and his partner, Ronald Ringsrud, published the book, Emeralds: A Passionate Guide , in China. It is the first professional book detailing the Chinese history of emeralds.
- Chen is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and of the 'One Belt One Road' Working Group of the U.S. Embassy in China. 
ICA President Invited As Keynote Speaker at the World Emerald Symposium

ICA President Clement Sabbagh has been invited as a Keynote Speaker at the upcoming Second World Emerald Symposium (WES), on October 12, the opening day of the three-day event at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bogota.
Clement Sabbagh commented, “I am honored to have been invited by the organizers to such an important meeting and I look forward to being in Bogota. The ICA is happy to support the global gems and jewelry initiatives related to the emerald sector, which has shown tremendous changes and solid growth over the last few years. I congratulate Colombia for its continuous efforts and its leading role it has taken to put together such an impressive and significant global event.”
- The WES will address major topics of the emerald trade, including Geology, Mining, Technical Issues, New Technologies such as Blockchain and its Applications, Artisanal Small-Scale Mining Formalization, Responsible Sourcing, CSR, Gemology, Certification, Origin, Descriptions, Trade and Consumer Education, Professional Capacity Building, Marketing, Branding, Jewelry Design, Harmonization of Descriptions and Practices and much more.
- The symposium will gather stakeholders together as both speakers and delegates from all emerald-producing countries as well as major consuming nations. Delegations from the following producing countries include Colombia, Pakistan Afghanistan, Russia, Zambia, Brazil and Madagascar. Delegates from the processing and primary consuming countries include India, China, Thailand, USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, UK and Australia.
- The speakers include a wide range of organizations, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), the Dubai Multi-Commodities Center (DMCC), Everledger. A number of global luxury brands will also be in attendance, namely Van Cleef & Arpels, LVMH and Bulgari.
- Major trade associations from across the world also will be represented, including the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA), World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), AGTA, Thai Gem & Jewelry Traders Association (TGJTA), China’s National Gemstone Testing Center, the Gemstone Association of China (GAC), India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and the world’s foremost gem laboratories.
After the WES, the CIBJO Congress will take place, October 15-17. Read More
Thailand's Ministry of Commerce Supporting 62nd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair
The Department of International Trade Promotion of Thailand's Ministry of Commerce supports the 62nd edition of the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair under the theme 'Heritage & Craftsmanship.' The show will highlight Thailand’s cultural heritage and the craftsmanship.
 Read More
Mozambique's Ruby Mining Goes from ‘Wild West’ to Big Business
Though it’s difficult to know the value of the global rough-ruby trade because it’s so fragmented, the New York-based Natural Resource Governance Institute estimates the ruby, emerald and sapphire business is worth as much as $2.5 billion annually. From nothing 10 years ago, Mozambique now accounts for as much as 80 percent of global ruby output, according to Richard Hughes, of Lotus Gemology Co. Ltd., Bangkok. Read More
Unusual Cuts, Original Carvings and Amazing Colorful Jewels Are Winners at the 2018 AGTA Spectrum Awards.
The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) has announced the winners of its 2018 AGTA Spectrum Awards. Here is a rundown of the top winners in the various categories. Read More
Gemfields Details Scenes of Brute Anarchy at Ethiopia Emerald Site
Gemfields described scenes of sheer anarchy that unfolded on July 31 at its 75%-owned Ethiopian emerald property, which had been overrun by up to 500 criminals a month earlier. The invaders looted the mine’s sort-house, which contained emeralds, and have since forced police services to abandon the site. Read More
Zambian Tax Authorities Raid Gemfields Offices
The mining group warned shareholders the Zambian Revenue Authority had made an unannounced visit to the 75%-owned Kagem emerald mine, armed with search warrants for the mine and a subcontractor, Limpopo Polygraphs. Read More
ALROSA Tests Ruble Payment For Rough Stones With Foreign Clients
The world's leading rough diamond miner by volume, ALROSA has tested a payment mechanism with foreign clients using the Russian currency. In the experiment, transactions were conducted with clients from China and India. The company is ready to use this payment scheme in rubles in the future, the miner said.  Read More
Brazil's Feira Internacional De Pedras Preciosas (FIPP) Ends on a Postive Note
Under the leadership of Brazil’s Gems Exporters Association (GEA), in association with ACCOMPEDRAS, the FIPP featured gems from 110 exhibitors. The 28 th edition was held 15 to 19 August 2018. “The results were very positive,” stated GEA president, Leonardo Souto, who also noted the strong presence of an international Catholic organization, Gospel Heroes , which came to source precious gems for their sacred ornaments.

InColor Now Out and Also Online
The Summer issue, volume 2, offers a special section on Paraiba tourmaline - its mines, gemology and so much more as well as its use in amazingly beautiful jewelry. Also in this issue is a look at mining in Luc Yen, Vietnam and the situation of Tsavorite, fifty years after its discovery by Campbell Bridges. You can also get up front and very personal with jewelry made from elements of the human body, As usual, InColor also provides reports on the world's most prominent trade fairs and events held this summer. Read More
Tiffany & Co. Maps Three-Year Renovation of Its Vital Flagship Store
The jeweler plans to spend as much as 2% of its worldwide net sales on the renovation of its 10-floor flagship store in New York over the next three fiscal years. The total cost could be as much as $250 million, according to Bloomberg calculations based on last year’s revenue. Construction is set to begin in spring 2019. Tiffany will temporarily use space inside the building next door, the former location of Nike Inc.’s famed Niketown store that closed earlier this year, in order to limit sales disruption. Read More
Lucapa Recovers Colored Diamonds
Lucapa announced that it has recovered several colored diamonds from its Mothae diamond mine operations in Lesotho. The Mothae kimberlite pipe is located within 5km of Letšeng, the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world. Read More
De Beers: "Fire in the Hole" - Prediction: Lab-Growns to Drive the Diamond Giant’s Future Growth
In the mining business, shouts of “fire in the hole” are warnings that an explosive detonation in a confined space is imminent. They warn of a dynamite charge that has been set.   In this article, Chaim Even-Zohar with Pranay Narvekar offer an insightful view of LGDs and the diamond industry. Could this also be the future of colored gems? Read More
The articles from third-party publications linked from this newsletter primarily reflect the views of their authors. They do not constitute in any way official positions of the ICA.