CIBJO releases Coloured Stone Commission’s Special Report,
looks at differences in terminology used by labs and the trade

SEPTEMBER 27, 2017

With fewer than six weeks to go to the opening of the 2017 CIBJO Congress in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 5, 2017, the fourth of the CIBJO commissions’ Special Reports has been released. Prepared by Nilam Alawdeen, President of the organisation’s Coloured Stone Commission, the report focuses on differences in the way gemmological laboratories describe treated gemstones and the way in which a sizeable number of members of the trade prefer to describe them to customers.

“On a laboratory report, if the modifier ‘natural’ does not precede the word ‘sapphire,’ one may assume that the stone has been subjected to heating and is no longer in its original, natural state,” Mr. Alawdeen states. But, he adds, the trade’s understanding is that, “when using the term ‘sapphire’ without a modifier, one suggests that it is natural and untreated.”

“More than ever before it is our obligation to be as clear as possible when communicating with the public, about the nomenclature we use and what it signifies. It is absolutely imperative that we do not provide a mixed message,” Mr. Alawdeen continues.

The report also discusses the differences in the ways of reporting “traditional” treatments, where only general disclosure of a treatment is required, and new treatments, where more specific disclosure is necessary. From the consumer’s perspective, he writes, it is important to communicate all information that is relevant to the value of a gemstone.

The market price of a gemstone does to a degree depend on the type of treatment applied, Mr. Alawdeen notes in the report. “Part of the trade feels strongly that such factors, which differ in terms of their economic impact from treatment to treatment, should both be disclosed and explained to the consumer. Consumer confidence, they say, is enhanced by the customer understanding what elements are factored in when pricing a product,” he states.

To download a full copy of the CIBJO Coloured Stone Commission’s special report, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

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