ICA Newsletter | January/February 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 jewelry creations.
ICA President Interviewed by JNA

Coloured gemstones falling within the Ultimate Gray and Illuminating colour categories are seen to attract the jewellery market’s attention in 2021, according to the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA). 

ICA President Clement Sabbagh says gems that are likely to figure prominently in new jewellery collections throughout the year include a diverse palette of greys and yellows that embody hope, strength and optimism amid these trying times. 

The Pantone Color Institute picked Ultimate Gray and Illuminating as colours of the year for 2021, creating an aspirational pairing of solemnity and contemplation with a more upbeat perspective. Illuminating is described as a cheerful yellow and sparkling with vivacity while Ultimate Gray epitomizes solid and dependable elements. 
Sabbagh said Illuminating is best represented by gemstones in bright yellow hues such as yellow sapphire and opal, Imperial topaz and citrine. Yellow diamond, golden beryl (heliodore), chrysoberyl, garnet, tourmaline, jade, peridot (in yellow or lemon hues), amber, South Sea pearl and zircon likewise exemplify this colour.

Grey variants of various gems such as spinel, sapphire, smoky quartz, onyx, jade, labradorite, moonstone and even black and grey diamonds meanwhile breathe life into Ultimate Gray. 

“We expect designers to incorporate these gems in their latest creations, driven by consumers who favor colours that they see in the fashion world,” noted Sabbagh. “In 2019 for instance, we experienced strong interest in orange gems such as Imperial topaz, garnet and fire opal, among others, following Pantone’s designation of ‘Living Coral’ as the colour for 2019.”

The announcement of “Classic Blue” as the 2020 colour of the year meanwhile reignited appreciation for gems like sapphires, spinels, blue topaz and aquamarines. 

“We expect no different in 2021 with diamonds, sapphires, golden pearls, canary tourmalines, jade, garnets and spinel being the most sought-after gems,” continued the ICA official.

Sabbagh further described Ultimate Gray and Illuminating as quite versatile, adding that both colours will most likely be seen in combination with other gems, further fueling the creativity of jewellery designers worldwide.

ICA Ambassador Report
ICA Ambassador to Spain
Antonio Negueruela
Dear ICA members,

Due to the situation in which we are immersed worldwide, Spain has experienced a large number of Covid 19 cases. 

The most active period for our business was Christmas 2019. Generally at the beginning of each year, the months of January and February are quiet months as we leave the previous Christmas campaign that benefits our sector for the purchases made during this period. 

Last February news about positives cases in other countries began, in the month of March the Spanish government, due to the increase in contagions in our country, decreed a state of alarm and all activity ceased for 2 months. 

Since then, local and partial confinements have continued up to today. During these months shops and wholesaler offices were closed, we could not work as our activity was not an essential service, and we experienced an absolute inactivity, and since then we have resumed gradually back to normal the activity. 

I can say that in the last months it has been the period that we have recorded the least activity in the sector in the last 60 years, but looking at the global picture, it is totally understandable. That is why we are not only closed to the Spanish market, but we work with foreign customers, as there are other markets where the economy is not so resentful and still demand our product. 

Currently we live at a moment when different types of gems such as aquamarines, tourmalines, tanzanites... coexist with mayor stones, what is indisputable is that ruby, sapphire and emerald have always maintained their position, in fact there is an interest of engagement rings and earrings that are set with color stone as the main gem surrounded by diamonds. 

Being positive, thanks to online commerce there are many companies that have been able to save their sells, every day the consumer relies more on this purchasing system for our product. 
Hoping that better times come back for everyone!!  

ICA Shows Report
November 2020 - HKJMA Show Report

Maggie Liu, ICA Exhibitions Manager, & Wings Cheung / General Manager HKJMA

Because of smaller participation numbers, HKJMA offered ICA a nice booth which we stocked with InColor Magazines and membership applications. Our exhibitions manager, Maggie Liu, attended to the booth.

“Despite the 4th wave of a Covid-19 outbreak in Hong Kong, the 28th JMA Hong Kong International Jewelry Show still came to a successful close, attracting over more than 20,000 trade and public buyers.”

Maggie has been seeing local jewelry exhibitions forced to cancel or move due to the pandemic. “The 4-day HKJMA show (26 -29 Nov 2020) has been the only jewelry show successfully held this year, creating business opportunities for the exhibitors that were able to participate.”

“Various promotional offers and Award presentations were launched to stimulate a positive atmosphere. Buyers showed interest in visiting all the booths, and the exhibition gave the local gemstone and jewelry industry a push from the decline it was facing due to the pandemic-induced lockdown.”

“I agree” says Wings Cheung, General Manager for HKJMA. “2020 was definitively the most difficult year of my career as I would have never thought of travel restrictions & the closings of numerous businesses for almost 10 months.”
“Three major events here in Hong Kong, the March Show (HKTDC), and both June & September Shows (Informa) were all cancelled or deferred to 2021. HKTDC even further rescheduled their March 2021 edition to July 2021.”

“Staying home and maintaining social distancing is now the new normal,” says Wings. “Whilst we all know for jewelry business, it is unlikely for us to conduct or adopt online shopping as people still prefer to see, touch, and feel valuable items.”

Even though the challenges were great, HKTDC kept the November show open. “We wanted to demonstrate that there are a number of measures that could help us to run a business show in a proper manner.”

Wings notes that while the November show was certainly down from 2019, from 1,350 stands to 490 stands, the fact that they were actually able to have a show was positive.

“I’d like to share our experience to setup an emergency management team together with the venue management so that we could handle and dispatch additional manpower and all necessary resources on visitor traffic control. A professional PR team to monitor social media, newspapers and government’s concern on immediate basis. A special isolation room for medical purpose. We waited 14 days after the show to ensure zero reported case before releasing results to our loyal overseas exhibitors.

In short, the eight principals that we practice throughout the event were:
  1. All visitors must wear a facial mask
  2. Temperature check and anyone over 37.5C will not be admitted
  3. An electronic health declaration form with mobile number (acknowledge sms for registration counter verification & it also provided as a trail for visitor identification if required)
  4. Anyone who wears quarantine order tag is prohibited to enter
  5. No eating & drinking inside the exhibition area (we setup another hall during lunch hours with each table no more than 4 people at that time with different area for exhibitors & visitors)
  6. We adjusted aisle width to ensure proper social distancing
  7. Hand sanitizers were provided at hall entrance and each stand
  8. All common & public facilities are cleaned every 30 minutes interval
“I truly appreciate what we have today as there are so many people working hard day & night to help us pass through one of the most challenging periods in our history.
Stay healthy everyone!”

Here are the HKJMA News release and some articles about the show:

News Articles:

ICA Signs MOU to help ICA Members with China Imports!
ICA Signs MOU for future China Colored Gemstone Importation, Bonded Service, & Trading Platform
The leading global organization for colored gemstones, the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA), the bonded platform of Shenzhen, enabling transparent and legal importation of diamonds, gemstones and jewelry into China, the Shenzhen Jewelry Industry Service Company (SJIS), and Guild, an educational organization committed to education and promotion of colored gemstones, have signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate importation, promotion, and education of colored gemstones in China.

For ICA members, SJIS will be providing venues and facilities for jewelry exhibitions, provide a vehicle for legal and transparent entry of diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry into China, and provide services on logistics, customs clearances, storage, security, insurance, taxation, and payment arrangements.

"China is often considered the greatest potential growth market for colored gemstones," says Andy Lucas, vice president, Guild Institute of Gemology. "Indeed, the consumption and interest for colored gemstones has been growing consistently with still tremendous potential to continue. When looking at the entirety of the Chinese domestic market the colored gemstone sector may have has just begun."

"This is an important step in cooperation for the Chinese and global gemstone industry. To cooperate and utilize resources towards the goal of increasing colored gemstone consumption in China, and providing transparent, competitive, fair, and legal access to the Chinese market for the entire global industry."

Working together to bring the source to China.
ICA Partners with Jewelers Circle & Gembridge!

ICA and Jewelers Circle Partnership to Provide for ICA Members
To all our ICA members,

We are pleased to announce a newly forged and exclusive partnership with the Jewelers Circle, a leading B2B online global trading platform and marketplace for trade-only professionals to discover colored gemstones, natural colored diamonds, pearls, designer and vintage jewelry and other collectibles.

“In this new era of wholesale commerce, we are thrilled to be providing digital solutions with highly tailored product sourcing, business and relationship-driving opportunities, as well as forging partnerships with esteemed organizations like ICA,” says Marianne Fisher, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Jewelers Circle. “Our platform will allow ICA Members to connect with qualified trade professionals to discover, network and ultimately transact without platform commissions in a way that would normally take place at traditional live market events.” ...

... Our special partnership benefits include a fully subsidized membership [for All AEM ICA members - at no cost! A $3500+ savings!] to exhibit on the platform through December 31, 2021!

ICA and Gembridge Partner Up for Commission-free Membership
We are delighted to announce another exclusive benefit from our partnership with Gembridge, the regulated online platform dedicated to trading certified gemstones, pearls and jewellery.
Currently, ICA Accredited Ethical Members (AEM) who join Gembridge’s verified community pay no Buyer’s or Seller’s commission on trades until 30 June 2021. The minimum transaction is US$1,000. Gembridge membership is free, so this is an ideal time to TRADE WITH TRUST™.
In addition, Gembridge has just announced that it will continue to waive the Seller’s Commission on trades for ICA AEM members right through to the end of December 2021!
Tony Brooke, chairman of Gembridge, extends a warm welcome to all ICA AEM members. “We are here to help you connect with our members through a secure, insured, door-to-door service. With Gembridge managing counterparty risks, members can trust every stage of each transaction – whether buying, selling or consigning, anywhere in the world.”

Clement Sabbagh, ICA President, added, “This partnership with Gembridge will offer our AEMs more business opportunities to connect with other traders globally, all from the comfort of their home office. Tony has been a strong supporter of the ICA for many years and we appreciate his support once again.” ...

Tradeshow Updates
UPDATED Trade Shows
Scheduled, Rescheduled, Completed, & Cancelled

Vicenzaoro January Show
 rescheduled for Mar 12-16, 2021 - CANCELLED
Tucson Gem & Mineral Show TGMS
 - scheduled for Feb 9-12, 2021 - CANCELLED
Tucson GJX & AGTA Shows
 - scheduled for Feb 2-7, 2021 - CANCELLED
Palm Beach Fine Craft Show
 - on schedule for Feb 18-20, 2021
Naples Art, Antique & Jewelry Show
 - scheduled for Feb 19-23, 2021 - CANCELLED
Inhorgenta Munich Show
 - rescheduled for Apr 15-19, 2021

International Jewellery Kobe (IJK) Show 
- on schedule for May 13-15, 2021
 – both at AWE - rescheduled for July 2-6, 2021
 – rescheduled for August 26-30, 2021

Las Vegas JCK & LUXURY Shows Announce Postponements Until August

Friday, August 27 – Monday, August 30, 2021

Luxury by Invitation Only: Tuesday, August 24 - Thursday, August 26

The June 2021 Las Vegas JCK and Luxury shows will be postponed until August, says Group Vice President, Sarin Bachmann. The new dates are posted above. The two shows will remain at the same venue, at the Venetian Hotel and Sands Expo, but most likely with a somewhat modified floor plan.

“After a year without an opportunity for the jewelry community to gather together, it is important to JCK to facilitate an in-person event in the most positive and safe way possible. Following thoughtful discussion with our advisory boards, partners and customers, we have decided ... to move JCK and Luxury to a late August date pattern.

New Gem & Mineral Museum - Tucson Arizona
The University of Arizona’s mineral and gem museum is changing its name and location. The new museum, the Alfie Norville Gem & Mineral Museum, is not open yet, but by the time we all get back to Tucson for the Gems & Minerals Shows, it will be, according to Museum Manager Eric Fritz.

County To Lobby For Gemstone Value Addition Plant

Turkana county government has expressed its commitment to the establishment of a gemstone value addition center in the area to help artisanal miners fetch better prices for their precious stones.
          Addressing participants in a training program on gemstone value addition Monday, the county Chief Officer for Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources Moses Natome said the county has a large variety of mineral resources including sapphire, garnets, Rhodolites and Jade to sustain the center with raw materials.
Natome added that the center will transform the gemstone industry in Turkana County and beyond and also supplement the Voi gemstone centre in revamping the mining industry in Kenya.

Basel’s HourUniverse Show Postponed Until Summer
MCH Group has confirmed that HourUniverse, a jewelry and watch show created in the wake of Baselworld’s closure, will not take place in April as planned.
MCH hopes a new date for a physical event can be found, but has not committed to one.
Potential exhibitors that have been in discussions to participate have been told that June is a possibility.

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 timely and effective assistance 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.
Inclusion, Trace Element Characteristics
Emeralds from
Swat Valley, Pakistan
Swat Valley has become an important source of emeralds, including recently discovered trapiche-type crystals. In this study, emerald samples from Swat were examined by standard gemological testing, UV-Vis-NIR, FTIR, Raman analysis, EDXRF, and LA-ICP-MS. The study found three-phase hexagonal inclusions consisting of water, gaseous carbon dioxide and nitrogen, and a magnesite crystal. The gaseous mixture in two-phase inclusions is characteristic in both trapiche-type (CO2 + N2) and non-trapiche samples (CO2 + N2 + CH4). Mineral inclusions of hematite, magnetite, rutile, graphite, and siderite are reported for the first time. Regular non-trapiche-type Swat emeralds contain high chromium (avg. 7471 ppmw), alkali metal (avg. 21040 ppmw), magnesium (avg. 34263 ppmw), and iron (avg. 9265 ppmw), as well as scandium (avg. 633 ppmw). Infrared spectra show that the absorption of type II H2O is stronger than that of type I H2O. ...

Some Amazing Birthstone Jewels
From PrestigeOnline.com magazine, the online lifestyle media "for the affluent and influential," writing for the Style section, Allyson Klass chooses a dozen beautiful birthstone jewels for her feature, "Birthstones by the Month."

February Birthstone: Amethyst
Its colour is as unique as it is seductive, though in fact this gemstone of all gemstones is said to protect its wearer against seduction.

The amethyst is extravagance in violet. For many thousands of years, the most striking representative of the quartz family has been a jewel coveted by princes both ecclesiastical and secular. Moses described it as a symbol of the Spirit of God in the official robes of the High Priest of the Jews, and the Russian Empress Catherine the Great sent thousands of miners into the Urals to look for it.

In popular belief, the amethyst offers protection against drunkenness - for the Greek words 'amethystos' mean 'not intoxicated' in translation.

Launch of Voi Gemology Center in Taita-Taveta
Mining Cabinet Secretary (CS) John Munyes on Friday published names of eight gemstone-experts who will be members of the committee. Their roles include helping operationalize the facility, offering advisory services to the center managers and sensitizing stakeholders on the value of the facility.

Albert Boghossian
Interview - Spectacular Gems and Jewelry
Albert Boghossian is the CEO and fifth-generation of a jewelry house that boasts non-traditional and glamorous jewels. Their gems and jewelry designs have garnered quite the following, full of "dedicated collectors, record-breaking prices at auction, and a reputation for the special and rare." 

Tanzanite Miner Builds School as Promised
Tanzanite miner, Saniniu Laizer became an overnight sensation after finding multiple large finds of tanzanite, selling them for billions. One of the biggest finds weighed 15kg, worth Sh7.7 billion.

His promise to the people of Simanjiro...

Nigerian Govt will Create Ibadan Gemstone Marketplace
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, says the Federal Government is set to build a gems’ market in Ibadan, Oyo State. Adegbite made this known on Tuesday in Ibadan when he received two hectares of land documents donated for that purpose by the Oyo State Government.
The land is located at Ojoo, along Ibadan – Oyo road, in Akinyele Local Government Area of the state.
Happy ‘Cookie Monster’ Agate Geode Found in Brazil
"It’s worth a lot of cookies," so they say.

A geode recently uncovered in Brazil by geologist Mike Bowers, is hoping to yield more than just cookie crumbs and good TV ratings!

No photoshop here. It really does have natural features resembling "eyes," "mouth," and a blue "fuzzy face."

ICA Office Update

Greetings from ICA, and Happy New Year!

We are looking forward to seeing you all at the ICA Congress in Shenzhen China! It is certainly challenging to think of travel right now when so many countries are still being cautious, but we are hopeful that by September, we will all be able to head to Hong Kong for the trade shows, and then drive over to Shenzhen for the ICA Congress.

In the meantime, read about the many ways our Board of Directors have been working for the natural colored gemstone industry. Search through the ICA website, especially our Covid-19 page (link above), for all of the valuable tips and offerings, helping you navigate the hybrid business models that are the new normal.

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