ICA Newsletter | May 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 gem-set jewelry creations.
Birthstone for May
In Memoriam
Jean Claude Michelou
October 7, 1948 – May 3, 2021

Jean Claude “JC” Michelou, former Editor-in-Chief of ICA’s InColor Magazine, and co-founder of Imperial Colors Ltd., Thailand, colored gemstones suppliers, passed away Wednesday evening, May 3rd, 2021, in Bangkok, of complications from Covid-19. He was 72 years old.
Jean Claude’s childhood to teenage years were spent between Paris, France, and London ,UK where he studied at The ECCIP Ndb (Business School of Paris) and at London College of International Business and Economics.
For over three decades, Jean Claude lived and worked in Colombia, becoming an expert in emeralds, and gaining a passion for responsible sourcing. He was dedicated to service, and provided his gem business expertise for many organizations, including PISDAC project Pakistan, the Nigeria Ministry of Mines and Steel Development with the World Bank, UNICRI’s Gemstone sector, two World Emerald Symposiums in Bogota, Colombia, the Gemstones Sustainable Development Knowledge Hub, and the Responsible Gems and Jewelry Council.
JC was a member of ICA from 1986, serving as Vice President on the Board of Directors from 2005-2007, and again from 2009-2015.

Jean Claude is survived by his companion, Catherine Munier, children Zoé, Yannick, Vanessa, & Nathalie, and his sister, Andrée Vaissière Michelou.
Clement Sabbagh, president of the ICA, and longtime colleague and friend noted that “JC worked passionately and tirelessly throughout his life to support the colored gemstone industry. He was an active member of our Board of Directors for 18 years and served ICA for 8 years as Vice President. JC will be lovingly remembered by relatives and the many friends he had around the globe. He will be sadly missed by all of us at the ICA.”
Condolences may be sent to:
Mrs. Zoe Michelou/Mrs Munpreet Virdy, 99/140 Interlux Premier, 109 Soi Sukhumvit 13, Khwaeng Khlong Toei Nua, Watthana, Bangkok, 10110. Thailand
Zoe suggests that donations to honor JC can be made to KhalsAid India Covid Relief, providing humanitarian relief worldwide, and specifically to help with their work in India. https://www.khalsaaid.org/donate
ICA Ambassadors Reports
ICA Ambassador to Vietnam Le Yen
Dear ICA members,
Greetings from Vietnam.
I would like to begin by telling you that gemstone mining continues as usual. We have new outcome of ruby, star ruby, spinel, and more cobalt blue spinel.
In the north, Mr. Le Hai, the president of Vietnam Gemstone, Gold, & Pearl Traders Association is building and organizing an in-door Gems Trading Center, in Yen Bai Mining City. When completed, it should utilize around 700 square meters. There will be multiple types of gem trading and cutting centers in Yen Bai, and nearby Luc Yen mining cities.
Vietnamese retail/consumer demand and trends shows that the high-end market has been doing well, especially with large size diamonds and big size colored stones, in both classic design and bespoke design pieces.
Export figures show that that export traffic is increasing globally, specifically to a variety of major destination countries/regions.
Because of this, we believe that Malca-Amit Logistics is currently taking more positive actions into Vietnam, investing in the representative office, by having their key personnel in Vietnam, and improving the system.
Local gem and jewelry trade shows are actually mostly individual private shows, from big local big brands.
Local trade regulations info (e.g. export/import regulations, taxes, duties, etc) show that thanks to trade agreements, despite some difficulties, transactions have been growing.

ICA Ambassador to the U.S. Dacques Nini
Dear ICA members,

Ebb and flow of time brings about waves of benefits and profits as well as low tides of bare aisles and beached, stranded sales. As the pendulum of time swings through its paces, we are all facing the pullback on our businesses and our trade with the exception of perhaps social media and e-commence savvy sellers finding attractive currents for bringing goods to consumers.

Organizations such as CIBJO, GIA and BlueCap Productions have kept waves of connection and content available through webinars, online forums and interviews. The ICA and the AGTA had difficult decisions concerning the two main shows GJX Gem & Jewelry Exchange and the AGTA GemFair for 2021. Working closely with Pima County in Tucson, the usual February international gathering shifted to a secondary date. While in attendance of the April effort to have a Tucson event, the atmosphere was quite different from years past. Most notably for many attendees was the cancellation of the larger gem and mineral shows and the many shuttered doors of smaller venues.

Retailers in the United States are finding that high end colored gemstones and colored diamonds are assisting in maintaining budgets and keeping sales afloat. However, retail environments around the nation have many closed doors and empty retail outlets that commercial real estate developers would have never imagined. Ultimately, some are swimming in success while others are treading water and fighting for survival.

Perhaps what is most important is to remain positive and focused on new trade routes within the trade and new ways to communicate with clientele. Additionally, we can look to the past to find hope for today and tomorrow... One hundred years ago, a pandemic brought the world to its knees while 50M people lost their lives. Shortly after, the Roaring 20’s occurred. As an industry, we mourn any loss of life and remain steadfast in our approach to living, family and our industry bouncing back.

ICA Board Appoints New Kenya Director
Miriam Wairimu Kamau is the latest appointment to the ICA Board of Directors.

Mining in Kenya, gemmologist Ms. Kamau has experience in processing gem materials from rough to full cut polished minerals, cutting, sorting and marketing.

For 17 years, Kamau has been a successful gemstone dealer, miner and jewelry artist.

This past year, success included being voted as one of the Top 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining.

Welcome to the Board!

Evan Caplan Appointed ICA Board Secretary
Board member Evan Caplan, of Evan Caplan Company in Los Angeles, has been appointed as Secretary of the Board.

He joins Altaf Iqbal, Regal Gems (Pvt) Ltd., Colombo, Sri Lanka as ICA's two required Secretaries for the ICA Board of Directors.
ICA Presents at Mozambique Mining Conference - MMEC
The 7th Mozambique Mining, Oil & Gas & Energy Conference and Exhibition (MMEC), organized by AME Trade Ltd, highlighted speakers from the minerals sector, including ICA's CEO, Gary Roskin, was held via Zoom over three days in mid April.

Speaking during the conference's session on Mozambique's Mining Activities: Current and Future Development Plans, Roskin focused on gem materials currently being mined by artisanal, small scale, and large scale operations.
During this session, mining industry experts showcased their projects, outlined their strategies for development, and highlight opportunities for diversification and industrialization.
Topics ranged from:
• The future of gemstones 
• Mining Opportunities in the gemstone mining industry 
• The impact of e-government initiatives and on-line mining cadastre systems 
• Mining project updates from project owners 
• Recent geological findings/surveys 
• Mining and community consultation – strengthening strategic partnerships for the benefit of all 
• The effect the pandemic has had on mining production – strategies for stability and growth 

Speakers for the session included: 
• Adriano Silvestre Sêvano, Director General, Instituto Nacional de Minas de Moçambique (INAMI) 
• Gareth Clinton, Manager, Mozambique, Kenmare Resources 
• Reinaldo Gonçalves, Chairman, AGMM, Mozambique 
• Gary Roskin, Chief Executive Officer, International Colored Gemstone Association 

ICA|GemLab Develops Mediterranean Coral Color Scale
The purpose of the study, which concerns exclusively the color and not the value of the coral, is in fact to create an international standard to make transactions simpler and more transparent. Now the first results of the work put in place by Cibjo and Assocoral carried out by the ICA|GemLab of Bangkok.

Coral from the Mediterranean has its own color scale. The five shades identified by ICA|GemLab of Bangkok, as part of the initiative carried out by Cibjo and Assocoral, are: intense red, red, intense pink, pink and light pink, to obtain a classification of the precious corals of the Mediterranean (Corallium rubrum) based on their color, similar to that already used for diamonds.
A tool to simplify the work of producers and retailers in the description of jewels, arriving at an internationally consistent terminology, as illustrated in September in Vicenza during Voice by the president of CIBJO Gaetano Cavalieri, Vincenzo Aucella, president of Assocoral, and Enzo Liverino, president of the coral commission of CIBJO.
 Liverino himself collaborated on the project in close contact with Ken Scarratt, director of ICA|GemLab, and as deputy in the CIBJO commission, as well as president of the one dedicated to pearls.
"This work - he explains - made it possible to identify a classification methodology, identifying five basic colors from deep red to light pink and then focusing on intermediate shades, in particular in the range between red and deep pink which includes the most commercialized corals. . We are now perfecting this system to make it accessible and usable by companies, retailers, but also by consumers. It is certainly an important tool for the sector.

The purpose of this scale, which concerns exclusively the color and not the value of the coral, is in fact to create an international standard to make transactions simpler and more transparent.
"The goal of the project - says Aucella - is to draw up a color scale that is assimilated by all gemological laboratories and which, like that of GIA for diamonds, becomes an international standard. One thing that was missing for the coral of the Mediterranean. As Assocoral, I thank the ICA|GemLab. Once the basic colors and shades have been identified, this classification must now be made accessible to anyone.

Tradeshow Updates
UPDATED Trade Shows
Scheduled, Rescheduled, & 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
Naples Art, Antique & Jewelry Show
 - scheduled for Feb 19-23, 2021 - CANCELLED
Inhorgenta Munich Show - February/April
 - rescheduled for Apr 14-19 2021 - CANCELLED
 - both at HKCEC - rescheduled for July 25-29, 2021
Informa Markets Jewellery & Gem ASIA HK (HKCEC)
- Physical Event on schedule for June 24-27, 2021
- Virtual Event on schedule for June 10 – July 2, 2021
JCK LAS VEGAS 2021 - June
 - rescheduled for August 26-30, 2021
 - on schedule for September 10-14, 2021
HardRock Summit SPARKLE & JOY DENVER 2021
 - on schedule for September 18-21, 2021
Informa Markets Jewellery & Gem WORLD HK (HKCEC)
- Physical Event on schedule for September 19 - 23, 2021
- Virtual Event on schedule for September 3 – 30, 2021
Informa Markets Jewellery & Gem WORLD Hong Kong (JGW) (AWE)
- rescheduled for November 9-13, 2021

The Gem Quarter: Understanding Colour
- Candy to Crimson
Jeweller explores the vivid spectrum of red, pink and purple gemstones, from chemical quirks and crystal lattice deviations to exotic origins and mystical tales.

When it comes to gemstones, colour is king. Even beyond its artistic appeal for jewellery design, colour speaks to us on a psychological level – triggering memories, sparking passions and soothing spirits.

One of the most attractive and emotionally provocative colour palettes is that of red, pink and purple.

The entrancing vibrancy of these rich hues have captivated humans for centuries across diverse cultures from all corners of the Earth, speaking to passion, vitality, love, and majesty.

Any discussion of the red-spectrum gemstones must begin with that most iconic of gemstones – the ruby. In Sanskrit, it was known as ratnaraj – “the king of jewels”.
Prized by royalty not only in ancient India but throughout history and across the world, this deep orange-to-purplish red form of corundum was thought to increase vitality and wealth and bring success in love and battle.

Colourless in its purest state, corundum ...

The Royal Tiara ‘Tried On’ By Thousands Sells for $1.6M 
Geneva—Sotheby’s created a social media filter to allow people around the world to try on a tiara with royal provenance, and the move definitely drummed up interest. 

The auction house put a natural pearl and diamond tiara connected to the House of Savoy up on the block Tuesday as part of its flagship “Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels: Part I” auction in Geneva.

Ahead of the sale, Sotheby’s unveiled an AR filter to allow people to virtually try on the piece and take pictures with it. The auction house said users took 22,000 selfies and videos in six weeks, making it Sotheby’s most popular social media filter to date.  

JCK Debuts Jewelers Source, Year-Round B2B Market 
In June, JCK will debut Jewelers Source by JCK, a year-round online business-to-business jewelry marketplace powered by BOSS Logics Live, the established leader in virtual jewelry meetings.

Reed Exhibitions, which owns JCK and JCKonline, issued the following statement:

Jewelers Source by JCK will take the jewelry industry to the next level of innovative sourcing.

Qualified buyers will have access to discover products and brands and conduct true-to-life virtual meetings with jewelry designers, suppliers, and service providers from the entire global jewelry industry.

Rare jewels given to Napoleon's daughter fetch over $1.6M
A rare nine-piece jewelry set once belonging to Stephanie de Beauharnais, Grand Duchess of Baden and the adoptive daughter of Napoleon Bonaparte, smashed auction estimates Wednesday to sell for 1.52 million Swiss francs ($1.67 million).

The sapphire and diamond parure included a tiara, earrings, a ring, bracelet and pendants. The jewels from the tiara and bracelet -- once part of a belt -- were remodeled by the grand duchess's daughter, Princess Josephine.

The jewels were sold individually at Christie's in Geneva, 200 years after the French emperor's death. Each item exceeded the auction house's initial estimates, which ranged from 10,000 to 250,000 Swiss francs ($11,000 to $275,430) per piece. The biggest earner was a sapphire and diamond tiara which fetched 525,000 Swiss francs (over $577,000).

Russia Seeks to Quadruple Alexandrite Production
Alexandrite is one of the rarest and most expensive gemstones on the planet. During an average year, worldwide production is barely 40 kilograms (88 lbs) and 93% of that production can be traced to Brazil.

Russia ranks a distant second in alexandrite production, but is looking to quadruple the output of the unique, color-change gem at its Mariinsky mine in the Ural Mountains. The announcement was made by officials at the state-controlled corporation Rostec, which operates the country’s only emerald placer mine.

(Placer mining is when minerals, such as alexandrite or emerald, are separated from sand or gravel using running water.)

The acceleration of alexandrite production in Russia is particularly significant because the gem — which is often called “emerald by day and ruby by night” — was originally discovered in the Ural Mountains in 1830.

Emphasizing that 2020 was a particularly difficult year at the Mariinsky mine due to COVID-19-related issues, Rostec chief executive Kirill Fedorov told the TASS news agency that his company mined just a single kilogram of alexandrite in 2020. That number should reach ...

Gemfields reports highest auction revenue in five years
JOHANNESBURG - GEMFIELDS, the London-headquartered supplier of coloured gemstones, reported the highest auction revenue in five years from Kagem, its Zambia-based emerald mine.

Gemfields, which also operates Montepuez Ruby Mining in Mozambique, said 59 companies had placed bids generating $31.4 million (R445.84m), with an overall average of $115.59 a carat (R1 584.56) during five sequential mini-auctions held between March 15 and April 17.

The group said its 37 auctions of emeralds and beryl mined at Kagem since July 2009 had generated $688.8m in total revenue.

Managing director of products and sales Adrian Banks said ...

Van Cleef & Arpels Supports Hong Kong Ballet
Ask anyone in the ballet world, and they will tell you that there is no luxury brand in the world that has a stronger connection to dance than Van Cleef & Arpels. Not only does the maison have a deep heritage of creating jewellery pieces inspired by dancers, its precious gemstones were also the source of inspiration for one of the world’s most famous works of dance – a ballet named Jewels, created by the legendary choreographer George Balanchine. ...

Top Tips for Staff Training with Gem-A CEO Alan Hart
As non-essential retail starts to reopen, staff will emerge from furlough eager to sell. For jewellery retailers, this could be an opportunity to brush off old habits, think in new ways and inspire change.

As with so many things, this relies on having the right knowledge supplied by a trusted source.
Who knows what customers have been reading online over the last 12 months? There are swathes of misinformation about gemstone treatments, laboratory-grown diamonds and gemstone mining too.

As independent jewellers it is important that your business is a source of accurate information.
Many Gem-A students come from retail backgrounds and are studying with us to benefit their power to sell and engage customers.

If your team is coming back from furlough, here are some ideas from the Gem-A team to help them sell gemstones in a reinvigorated and revitalized way. ...

Princess Eugenie's Sapphire Engagement Ring
Princess Eugenie has been married to Jack Brooksbank since 2018. When their engagement was announced, the royal showed off her unique engagement ring.

Around nine months later, the couple married in an elegant ceremony which took place at Windsor Castle.
They added to their brood in February 2021 when their son August Brooksbank was born.
Princess Eugenie is not a working royal and lives a fairly quiet life compared to others in her family.
When she has stepped out, her engagement ring has caught the attention of many royal fans.

Yellow jewels Inspired by One of Pantone 2021 Colours
Stunning yellow jewels inspired by Illuminating, one of Pantone colours of 2021

Stunning yellow jewels inspired by Illuminating, one of Pantone colours of 2021

The joyful and warm Illuminating, one of two Pantone colours of 2021 signifying the promise of a new day, is the inspiration behind this curation of yellow jewels. ...

Bucherer’s New Fine Jewellery Collection - Pastels
Jewellery and watch brand Bucherer has introduced its latest fine jewellery collection, Pastello.
The collection, the brand said, is intended as an ‘ode to soft pastel colours’, combining rare coloured gemstones.

The necklaces, rings and earrings in the Pastello collection are intended to be warn with any outfit, coming in rose or white gold. ...

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.
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.
Military Coup Clouds Control Over Jade, Gems in Myanmar
Opposition to the military’s coup has boosted ethnic armed groups, creating a new challenge to its lucrative jade and gems business.

Life in Myanmar’s jade-producing regions was always difficult and precarious but since the military seized power from the civilian government on February 1, it has become even more dangerous.

In Kachin State’s Hpakant township, which has the world’s largest and most lucrative jade mines, there are more soldiers and police, access to mining sites has become more difficult and local markets have stopped operating.

Best Jewelry at 2021 Oscars

Forget the designer labels, plunging necklines and shimmering sequins for a second … for many of the stars on last night’s Oscars red carpet, it was all about the jewels!

Let’s talk about cocktail rings. Why wear one when you can wear a handful? From Glenn Close’s circa 1915 three-stone, Burmese sapphire and diamond ring by Fred Leighton to H.E.R. ‘s fistful of sapphire and diamond Chopard rings, the stars donned rings set with a rainbow of precious stones.

Zendaya glided onto the Academy Awards red carpet in $6-million worth of show-stopping fancy yellow diamonds courtesy of Bulgari which made her look like a ray of sunshine paired with her lemon custom Valentino dress. ....

CIBJO Launches Free Online Toolkit On Responsible Sourcing

CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has launched an online toolkit designed to enable all trade members to conduct responsible sourcing due diligence on their supply chains.

The digital files comprising the toolkit can be downloaded at no cost from a dedicated mini-website, located at www.cibjo.org/rs-toolkit
The CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Toolkit supports the CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Book, which provides companies in the jewellery supply chain with a framework and guidance for due diligence for the responsible sourcing of gem materials and precious metals.

The Toolkit was developed for CIBJO by the Coloured Gemstone Working Group, which is a forum of leading gem and jewellery companies dedicated to helping businesses in the coloured gemstones supply chain be more sustainable, and making responsible sourcing part of the way they operate. 

Gateano Cavalieri, CIBJO President, said, “The launch of the CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Toolkit is ...

Training sessions for Pakistan’s Gems & Jewellery Sector
ISLAMABAD - Realizing the country’s true potential in the gemstones & jewelry sector, the present government has organized around 395 training sessions in seven major cities during the last fiscal year for skill development of the workforce, equipping them with modern techniques and technologies being applied in the gemstones industry worldwide.

Pakistan Gems & jewelry Development Company (PGJDC) conducted as many as 23 training sessions in Karachi, 114 in Lahore, 31 in Peshawar, 40 in Gilgit, 127 in Quetta, 45 in Muzaffarabad and 15 in Sargodha for capacity building of the industry and its manpower, according to an official report available with APP. The report mentioned that Pakistan’s gems & jewelry exports stood at $25.267million during the last three years, which cautioned that a lot of work still needed to be done for the promotion of this sector.
May Birthstone: Emerald
The vibrant green of emerald symbolizes renewal and fresh beginnings. It’s the perfect birthstone for May.

Emerald is one of the most storied gemstones in history. For 6,000 years, it has been cherished for its gorgeous green glow, and the lore is endless. The ancient Egyptians believed it represented fertility and rebirth. It was associated with the Greek goddess Venus, who represented love and beauty, and in several cultures as diverse as Chinese and Irish, emerald has long represented good luck.

It is said to protect lovers from unfaithfulness – if the heart is loyal, the gem will glow in a beautiful green color, but if the heart has gone astray, it will turn a different, lifeless color (although surely this has something to do with the quality of the stone).
Emerald has even been credited with improving one’s memory and intelligence, and transforming negativity into positive emotional energy. During the Middle Ages, it was believed that emerald would keep a woman chaste – but surely what they meant was “happy.”

ICA Office Update
May 2021
Greetings from the ICA,
We are all saddened at the passing of JC. His support for ICA and the Colored Gemstone Industry will truly be missed.
And our thoughts and prayers go out to all those in India where we see that Covid-19 has mercilessly taken hold. To all our Indian members and their loved ones, please stay safe.
In-Person Trade Shows:
This past month we have been chasing Trade Shows. First, we chased the March HK show, moving to the first week of July, and then moving again to the end of July. Next was the JCK Las Vegas show, moving from June to the end of August.
Having the uncertainty of the floorplan at JCK, and numerous international travel restrictions, we weren’t sure if we could fill the smaller available ballroom. Just a few weeks later, we now have a completely full ballroom and a waiting list! However, we are still anxious, with pending complications possible regarding travel restrictions into the US that may come back to haunt us in July or August.
And now, a possible trade show in Denver, a new addition to the already complicated month of September, with the September HK show looking more and more like it will be a smaller local show only. So are all eyes on Denver?
More ICA News
Trade shows aside, as you see from the news above in the newsletter, we have a new Board member, Miriam Kamau, and several Board members who are actively promoting the colored gemstones industry, and ICA too.
AEM - Do it Today!
Please do not forget to log into the Accredited Ethical Member portal of the website, www.Gemstone.org. If you are an ICA member, you should be an AEM! Complete it today!
Congress in 2022
We are looking forward to seeing you all at the ICA Congress in Shenzhen China in 2022! Yes, September of 2022!
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