Birmingham: The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) and the International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA) have agreed to work together in protecting the confidence of consumers in both jewellery products and the jewellery industry, through the transparent development of standards, operating principles and terminology.
The agreement was formalised on June 25, 2023, as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by Gaetano Cavalieri, President of CIBJO, and Joanna Park-Tonks, President of IGDA, during the National Association of Jewellers’ NAJ Summit, which was taking place in the UK city of Birmingham.
As part of the agreement, IGDA will become a member of CIBJO’s Laboratory Grown Diamond Committee, where it will be represented by Ms. Park-Tonks. The committee, chaired by Wesley Hunt of De Beers, has developed a Laboratory Grown Diamond Guidance document, the goals of which is to define universal trading and handling practices for laboratory-grown diamonds, safeguarding their identity and enabling consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.
“We are delighted to be able to formalise IGDA’s association with CIBJO and the work that we do,” said Dr. Cavalieri. “We have had open lines of communication for some time already, and IGDA did participate in the public review before we released the Laboratory Grown Diamond Guidance document in 2021. Over the past several years the laboratory-grown diamonds sector has grown into a large and a prominent part of our industry, and we all have a vested interest in each other’s success. That definitely will be enhanced by having the IGDA as a permanent part of the discussion and the decision-making process. We are most pleased to welcome Joanna on board.”
“IGDA is simply thrilled to be so warmly welcomed by Dr. Cavalieri and we would also like to thank the Committee Chair, Mr, Wesley Hunt, for his deep industry insight, diplomacy and expertise,” said Ms. Park-Tonks. “This sends a clear signal to the global jewellery industry to set personal agendas and egos aside, placing the consumer and their best interests at the heart of our work. We all agree that a strategy of deriding natural diamonds or laboratory-grown diamond products is not conducive to consumers understanding of either sector. Together we are stronger and we jointly acknowledge the necessity of communicating clearly, honestly and transparently.”
A current focus of the CIBJO’s Laboratory Grown Diamond Committee, and also an element during the discussion between CIBJO and IGDA, is the honest and accurate presentation of sustainability issues – an area that requires cross-industry collaboration and leadership.
“We are sensitive to the issues of ‘greenwashing,’ which can mislead consumers about the environmental impacts of LGDs, where these claims are not substantiated by evidence,” said Vivien Johnston Glass, a sustainability consultant and IGDA’s Sustainability Chair. “In aligning on how sustainability is presented accurately and uniting to deliver a better future for planet and people, we can maximise the positive impacts within the jewellery industry and build strong consumer trust in laboratory grown diamonds.”
“IGDA is committed to promoting better understanding and mitigation actions among members in order to address the challenges of meeting relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals, a mandate that CIBJO has championed for many years as the jewellery industry representative to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC),” she added.