CIBJO working group developing draft document
for internationalisation of Fei Cui standard

Kent Wong (fourth from left), Chairman of Jewellers’ and Goldsmiths’ Association of Hong Kong (JGAHK) and Managing Director of Chow Tai Fook, moderator of the Fei Cui session, together with  the team from Hong Kong that organised and participated in the hybrid session (from left): Peter Chan, Barry Yu, Norman Siu, Edward Liu, Lau Hak Bun, Stephen Tse and Irene Leung. 

OCTOBER 4, 2023

The second day of the 2023 CIBJO Congress in Jaipur, India, featured a hybrid session chaired from Hong Kong, delivered by a working group that is investigating a branding and market development strategy for what is referred to as Fei Cui, which includes the development of an international standard for identifying and describing the material.

Hugely popular in China and other parts of Asia, although relatively unknown in the West, Fei Cui is a granular to fibrous polycrystalline aggregate, composed solely or principally of the minerals jadeite, omphacite and kosmochlor, or any combination of these minerals.

The “Fei Cui” discussion document is essentially a blueprint for stringent trading standards, including full disclosure of the material offered for sale in a jewellery product. Fei Cui is understood to be jadeite jade throughout Asia, as mentioned in GBT 16553-2017, a Chinese national standard document.

It also envisages Fei Cui accredited gem labs operating in compliance with ISO/IEC 17025 a laboratory quality management standard.

The presentation during the congress was moderated by Kent Wong, Chairman of Jewellers’ and Goldsmiths’ Association of Hong Kong (JGAHK), who also is Managing Director of Chow Tai Fook, the world’s largest jewellery retail chain. He was joined by Dr Edward Liu, Chairman of Gemmological Association of Hong Kong (GAHK), in Hong Kong; Prof Dr. Yang Mingxing, former Dean and Professor of the Gemmological Institute at the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, China, who is the convenor team drafting the international Fei Cu standard; and Dr. Norman Siu, Director of GAHK, the deputy convenor, who was in Hong Kong.

On the podium in Jaipur was Sumed Prasongpongchai, Director of Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT); Kenneth Scarratt, President of CIBJO’s Sector A; and Hanco Zwaan, President of CIBJO Gemmological Commission.

During the discussion, panellists noted draft said that both industry members and consumers should be aware that in some Asian market places the term “Fei Cui” is used more loosely. It is vital, therefore, if the name “Fei Cui” is used in sales, it shall be clearly stated which minerals are being referred to.

Fei Cui accounts for around a fifth of the Chinese jewellery market.

The discussion draft will be available as a reference standard for an ethical approach to trade and as training materials to enhance the skills of key lab personnel.

Speaking after the session, Dr. Zwaan said that, for the global harmonisation of nomenclature of jade terminology, some issues needed addressing. These included worldwide recognition of nephrite and jadeite as jade, based on their exceptional toughness and similar appearance, and differentiating the green omphacite variety, which is gemmologically indistinguishable from green jadeite, and the omphacite present in metamorphic rock, as well as the status of Maw-sit-sit and associated kosmochlor

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