ICA Newsletter | March 2022
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.
Wave ring by Costis, with aquamarine, blue sapphire and diamonds
Aquamarine - Birthstone for March
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ICA News
Joe Menzie to Retire After Nearly 5 Decades in the Industry
National Jeweler

Longtime industry veteran and fine gemstone specialist Joe Menzie will retire at the end of the month, but he won’t be leaving the trade altogether.

Menzie started in the industry in 1973, leaving a job as a social worker in Yonkers to begin his jewelry career at his grandfather’s fine gemstone business.

“Back then, there were only about 10 guys my age in the business. Everybody else was much older,” he told National Jeweler in a recent interview.

Belmont Emeralds and Bonas Group Announce their Third Rough Emerald Tender
Bonas Group

Belmont Emeralds and Bonas Group Announce their Third Rough Emerald Tender

Belmont Emeralds is delighted to announce its third tender of rough emeralds. The event will be hosted by Bonas Group in Dubai.

Following two very successful sales in 2021, Belmont, the largest independent miner of emeralds in Brazil, is bringing around 220kg of premium and commercial emeralds to market. These premium-quality rough emeralds are directly from the company’s mine located in the world-famous Itabira region in Brazil’s Minas Geraisstate.

Industry News
Jewelry Industry Continues Its Fundraising Efforts For Ukraine Relief
JCK Online

With humanitarian efforts ongoing to aid Ukraine during the Russian invasion, the jewelry industry continues its fundraising campaigns in hopes of helping the Ukrainian people during this chaotic and dangerous time.

Some jewelers, in coordination with International Women’s Day on Tuesday as well as Women’s History Month throughout March, have also focused on specific charities that support female refugees and survivors of war.
Christie's Jewels & Watches Online: La Dolce Vita

Following the success of Christie’s Luxury auctions in 2021, Christie’s Milan announces the best of Italian jewellery craftsmanship and international watchmaking with Jewels and Watches Online: La Dolce Vita, open for bidding from 1 to 10 March 2022.

Presenting examples by iconic brands, highlights include a fine collection from Chantecler, jewels from the glamorous Montenapoleone Maisons Sabbadini and Vhernier, alongside a selection of precious gemstones such as Colombian and Brazilian emeralds, diamonds and sapphires.

Douglas K. Hucker Announces Departure from American Gem Trade Association

Douglas K. Hucker, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), has announced his departure from the Association, effective March 2, 2022.

AGTA has been under the leadership of Hucker for the past 24 years. Hucker came to AGTA after serving as President and partner of The Registry Ltd., a firm specializing in antique and estate jewelry.

With an extensive background in colored gemstones and education, he is noted for launching many careers in the jewelry industry with his guidance and insight into the many facets of the trade.

Istanbul Jewelry Show aims to surpass previous fair’s performance
Jeweller Magazine

Undaunted by the resurgence of COVID cases at the start of the year, the 51st Istanbul Jewelry Show will push through on 24 to 27 March at the Istanbul Expo Center in Turkey.

Hoping for the same success of the previous exhibition in October last year, organisers are expecting to register more than 1,250 domestic and international exhibitors to showcase their latest jewellery, equipment, accessories, software and other industry-related products.

Luxury jewellery companies stop operation in Russia; donate for relief efforts
Jeweller Magazine

The donation is the first tranche of contributions made to the International Committee of the Red Cross(ICRC), according to a statement on the group’s website.

“The LVMH Group is closely monitoring the tragic situation in Ukraine and stands alongside all those severely affected by this war,” the group stated, noting that its first priority is the safety of the group’s 150 employees in Ukraine.

The LVMH Group - which owns Bulgari, Chaumet, and Fred, TAG Heuer, Zenith, and Hublot – has ceased store operations in Russia together with Richemont, Hermes, Chanel and Kering Group in light of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A fundraising campaign has also been launched across the LVMH network to raise funds for the ICRC for its ongoing relief operations in war-torn Ukraine.

Van Cleef & Arpels’ couture culture
L'Officiel Malaysia

Like a pair of dancers in a graceful pas de deux, fashion and jewellery have been moving in lockstep since time immemorial.

The kings and queens of France in the Renaissance era, for instance, were often swathed in layers of textile-inspired regalia.

The symbiotic relationship between the two has transcended time and has been well documented at Van Cleef & Arpels.

Countdown to Vicenzaoro 2022 begins
Professional Jeweller

The event will take place in Vicenza from 17 to 21 March 2022, organised by Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) and representing the entire chain of international excellence.

Sustainability and technological evolution, with a look also at younger generations and buying trends, will be the hot topics central to the debate on the sector’s future, scheduled to take place on the main stage, an interactive and interconnected platform raised in Hall 7, in the heart of IEG’s expo centre.

Huge opal sells for nearly $144,000
Elko Daily

The opal, dubbed the “Americus Australis,” weighs more than 11,800 carats, according to the auction house Alaska Premier Auctions & Appraisals. It also has a long history.

Most recently, it was kept in a linen closet in a home in Big Lake, north of Anchorage, by Fred von Brandt, who mines for gold in Alaska and whose family has deep roots in the gem and rock business.

The opal is larger than a brick and is broken into two pieces, which von Brandt said was a practice used decades ago to prove gem quality.

Aquamarine - March Birthstone
ICA Gemstone.org

Aquamarine, the color of the sea on a warm tropical holiday or a cool iceberg in the Antarctic.

It is the color of earth’s life-giving forces, and surely one of the cheeriest on the colored gemstone palette.

It is most commonly associated with the sea; the name is Latin for seawater (aqua means water and marine means “of the sea”). Blue is a cool color, but there is something warm and breezy about aquamarine that makes it as perfect for a summer day as for a winter evening. [...]

Aquamarine obtains its blue color from iron impurities within colorless beryl. The deeper the blue color, the more valuable it is, but aquamarine is generally very light. It is routinely heat treated to bring out the blue tones, but the treatment is undetectable and very stable...

Kane Lim and his friendship with Singapore jeweller Vihari Poddar
CNA Luxury

When you can saunter out of a shop with S$200,000 worth of unpaid merchandise, you know that a certain level of trust exists between shopper and shopkeeper.

This was the case with Bling Empire star Kane Lim and jeweller Vihari Poddar, when CNA Luxury caught up with the pair at Poddar’s boutique in Paragon in February.

Lim, back in Singapore to spend Chinese New Year with his family, had arranged a visit to Poddar’s boutique in an attempt to persuade his mother to pick out a pink diamond (his efforts failed, but that’s another story).

United We Stand: The Jewelry Industry’s Efforts To Support And Raise Funds For Ukraine
Forbes Magazine

Since the onset of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s army, independent and established jewelry designers, antique and vintage dealers and retailers have rallied in support of various non-profits responding to the ongoing crisis.

Jewelry may feel like the last thing on anyone’s mind when it comes to matters of life and death, but this is an industry that consistently and swiftly responds to crises with generosity and compassion. Using their social media platforms and websites, they are raising awareness and funds and sharing information, supporting a variety of causes including Ukrainian military and civilian forces, refugees, and even pets.

US Watch and Jewelry Sales Back to “Normal Growth” in January 2022
Israeli Diamond

Jewelry and watch sales in the US rose 23.8% year-on-year in January, “which suggests the post-pandemic recovery is slowing,” according to IDEX Online.

Jewelry sales rose 24% per cent and watch sales were up 22.7% during the month, which marks an average increase of 23.8%.

According to IDEX Online,as the “depths of the pandemic are now behind us,” more “normal” growth in jewelry sales is expected in the coming year, “perhaps in the mid-to-high single digit range, though inflation could push that growth to low-double digits – in the teen range.”

AGA’s Next Career Forum Will Be About Gemology Publications
National Jeweler

The Accredited Gemologists Association has opened registration for its next virtual career forum, which will be about gemological publications. 
On Tuesday, March 22 at 8:30 a.m. PDT/11:30 a.m. EST, the organization will host a panel featuring industry leaders Robert Weldon, Gary Roskin, and Brendan Laurs. Weldon is the director of the Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library at GIA and the recipient of the 2020 Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology.
He has written professionally for JCK Magazine and Professional Jeweler and has authored and co-authored many feature articles and books.

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.
The NEW Members Portal on the ICA's website is open and active. Members have been able to network easily and it's not just for catching up with old friends and making new ones, but for making new business too.
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March Birthstone

Aquamarine is the gem you use when you want to make your fantasy ring a reality. It is very hard, at 7.5 to 8 on the Moh’s scale, which makes it more than hard enough to take the daily wear of a ring. It works particularly well as a center stone in cocktail rings because it can be found in such large sizes – 10-carat stones are common. In fact, the largest gem-quality aquamarine crystal ever mined weighed 244 pounds and measured 19 inches long. It came from the Minas Gerais region of Brazil in 1910.

While emerald tends to be hazy and full of inclusions, aquamarine has remarkably high clarity, another factor that makes it perfect as the center stone for large cocktail rings. It is usually faceted in rectangular or square cuts, and has a vitreous luster, so a well-cut gem really sparkles. And because aquamarine is plentiful, large, well-cut stones are common...

ICA Office Update
March 2022
Greetings from the ICA,

With the business success of Tucson’s Gems & Minerals shows last month, ICA exhibiting members are anxious for the next shows in which to participate. Our JCK 2022 Pavilion is filled, as is our newly expanded GJX Tucson 2023 Pavilion. ICA members are asking about the US Denver 2022 Show. This is a good sign of things to come.
But we are not living in a vacuum. We realize that while many countries are opening up, there are still many countries that are suffering under the cloud of the pandemic and from political military actions. We can only hope that our members and members of the colored gemstone industry are safe and that their businesses are ongoing despite the challenges.
When it comes to Trade Shows, Hong Kong has always been the Spring, Summer, and Fall destination. But these past two years have seen it rocked with pandemic challenges, as most were either closed or scaled back to local only shows. Now we are seeing HK trade show managements looking elsewhere as the September Hong Kong Informa Markets show is now two shows, albeit temporarily, with one show still in Hong Kong, for the locals, September 16-19, and one show in Singapore, for the internationals, September 27th through the 30th. Changing times leads to changing destinations.
And speaking of a new place to go, the new Members Portal has created some nice buzz, with new posts to the Emerald Group, Ruby & Sapphire Group, and Australian Members Group. If you are not receiving the email notifications for the Members Portal activities, let us help you set that up.
That’s the latest from here. 

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