The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) and the International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA) have officially declared their collaboration to maintain consumer trust in the jewellery industry and its products.
The formal partnership is intended to streamline the development of standards, procedures, and terminologies, with transparency as its guiding principle.
A Formal Partnership
On June 25, 2023, the collaboration was established as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU was signed by Gaetano Cavalieri, President of CIBJO, and Joanna Park-Tonks, President of IGDA, during the National Association of Jewellers’ NAJ Summit in Birmingham, UK.
Strengthening the Laboratory Grown Diamond Committee
As part of this agreement, IGDA will be joining CIBJO’s Laboratory Grown Diamond Committee, represented by Ms. Park-Tonks. Chaired by Wesley Hunt of De Beers, the committee previously developed a Laboratory Grown Diamond Guidance document aiming to standardise trading and handling practices for lab-grown diamonds. It is designed to protect the identity of these diamonds and to enable consumers to make informed purchases.
CIBJO’s President, Dr. Cavalieri, expressed his contentment over this partnership, “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.”
Park-Tonks echoed Cavalieri’s sentiments and appreciated the inclusive approach of CIBJO, emphasising the shared mission of both organisations to prioritise consumer interests.
Honesty in Sustainability Practices
The current focus of the CIBJO’s Laboratory Grown Diamond Committee and a critical point of the discussion between CIBJO and IGDA is the honest and accurate representation of sustainability issues. This area, requiring cross-industry collaboration and leadership, is crucial for a sector increasingly scrutinised for its environmental impact.
IGDA’s Sustainability Chair, Vivien Johnston Glass, spoke about the commitment of IGDA to promote understanding and mitigative actions in meeting relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals. “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,” she stated.
Impact on the UK Jewellery Industry
For UK jewellers, this collaboration signals an increased focus on transparency and sustainability in the jewellery industry. The partnership provides an opportunity to standardise practices surrounding lab-grown diamonds and enhance consumer trust. The emphasis on avoiding greenwashing and promoting sustainability aligns with the increasing consumer awareness and demand for ethical jewellery. This move by CIBJO and IGDA can provide guidance for UK jewellers to follow best practices and engage in more sustainable and consumer-centric business operations.
The emphasis on clear and honest communication, a key theme of this collaboration, is likely to result in better-informed consumers and stronger trust in both the traditional and lab-grown diamond sectors of the industry. This alignment of standards and practices across different sectors is a step towards promoting unity and strength within the industry, while ensuring it continues to evolve and align with broader societal values and expectations.