This week’s International Coloured Gemstone Association (ICA) Congress boasted a record attendance with more than 370 delegates from 26 countries.
The congress which took place in Bangkok from October 12-15 saw attendees including the world’s leading gemologists, miners, retailers, gem dealers and jewelry designers gather in the Shangri-La hotel.
The attendees staged discussions about pressing issues facing the industry, such as responsible sourcing and challenges faced by artisanal and small-scale miners, as well as industrial mining.
The Congress also attracted its biggest number of female delegates and speakers since the first event was held in Tel Aviv, Israel in April 1983.
The event announced plans to introduce a new membership status called “Accredited Ethical Member” via an application coinciding with membership renewal each year.
Prida Tiasuwan, chairman of the Congress, said: “We are delighted to have seen the biggest ever participation by industry experts from around the world at this year’s Congress in Bangkok.
“The increasing diversity of the organization is reflected in the largest ever presence of female delegates and speakers at this year’s event.”
Santpal Sinchawla, ICA secretary and chairman of the steering committee for the Congress, added: “The 19th ICA Congress attracted leading speakers in the coloured gemstone industry from around the world, including Sean Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields, our anchor sponsor, and top executives from retailers Chow Tai Fook and Amazon, among many others.
The seminar programme included panel discussions about digital marketing, featuring speakers such as Benjamin Guttery of Third Coast Gems; and challenges facing jewellery designers, with speakers such as Fulvio Scavia, Managing Director, Scavia.
The event was sponsored by coloured gemstone businesses around the world, as well as by Thailand’s Department of International Trade and Promotion (DITP), and the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT.)