CIBJO releases Coloured Stone Commission Special Report,
focuses on ethical sourcing and responsibility to workers in industry

SEPTEMBER 14, 2016

With six weeks to go to the opening of the 2016 CIBJO Congress in Yerevan, Armenia, on October 26, 2016, the fourth of the CIBJO commissions’ Special Reports has been released. Prepared by the CIBJO Coloured Stone Commission, headed by Nilam Alawdeen, the report examines the subject of ethical sourcing in the coloured gemstones sector, specifically from the perspective of the welfare of the workers it employs.

The report is complementary about the efforts of companies involved in the industry to introduce measures that will support workers and their communities in the producing countries, but cautions that the interests of for-profit entities and the mining nations do not always converge. In particular, it expresses concern that systems based on audits and certification will have a detrimental effect on the ability of smaller companies, which employ a major share of the industry’s workers, to compete economically.

“Before we ask for audits and certification as conditions for ‘ethical’ and ‘responsible sourcing,’ should we not first look into what we, as socially responsible entities, are doing for the producers of the materials from which we derive our profits?” writes Mr. Alawdeen. “What percentage of our turnover or profits is constantly being returned to the producing areas for their workers’ welfare and the wellbeing of the mining communities?”

The report also tackles the issue of consistency in gem lab reports, and in particular the use of descriptive terms, such as “Pigeon’s Blood” and “Royal Blue,” to describe the colour and quality of fine rubies and blue sapphires, which are subjective descriptions, without agreed upon standards for deciding what stones qualify. This will be discussed in depth during the CIBJO Congress in Yerevan in October.

To download a full copy of the report, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

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