Industry News

GIA Helps African Youth Discover the Science of Gems

Thirty-five students from Johannesburg, South Africa, and Gaborone, Botswana, eager to get their first glimpse of gemology – from rough crystals to finished jewelry pieces – recently learned the basics of gemology, mineralogy and geology. Two GIA Junior Gemologist Program™ workshops, sponsored by GIA (Gemological Institute of America), were held in Johannesburg. The students, from the ages of 10 to 15, received hands-on, practical training with loupes and other specialized gemological equipment as they learned to identify and assess gems such as quartz, fluorite, corundum and calcite. This was the first time that GIA offered the program in either country.


AGS Laboratories Forms Partnership with Worldmart*E

Guangzhou, China. The American Gem Society Laboratories, LLC (AGS Labs) officially launched a strategic partnership with Worldmart*E at a signing ceremony at the Worldmart*E facilities in Panyu. Through this partnership, the AGS Labs brand name and AGS diamond grading standards will be promoted among Worldmart*E members. Local China markets will be able to learn more about the AGS, as well as access international diamond market information to enhance their sourcing and trading of diamonds at the online Worldmart*E platform. read more...


Contentious excise duty on jewelry may stay

Jewelers across India protested the country's Ministry of Finance over the new excise duty with a 21-day strike. The tussle between jewelers and the MoF is likely to intensify in the first week of May although assurance was given by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to the industry early this month. Rajiv Jain, chairman of the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, is optimistic about the minister's assurance. He said, "The finance minister himself promised in a recent meeting with 22 industry organizations that he would look into the matter through the proper process." read more...


100 Women Who Matter - Entrepreneurs Roundtable

March 30 & April 6‚ 2012‚ issue

Newsweek Pakistan’s Benazir Shah and Bisma Ahmad got down to business with five leading women entrepreneurs in Lahore recently to talk about the hard slog. ICA member, and former ICA Ambassador to Pakistan, Ambarine Bukharey was interviewed for the article: "I started gemstone exports in 1989 and never thought this would become a serious business. I was the first woman in this line, and I think so far the only one who’s also mining. When I first went out in the markets in Peshawar to buy gemstones, all these men would just stop and stare and laugh at me. They were highly skeptical. But now we’re one big happy family. Now I can sit with five or six Pathans in the middle of the night examining stones. I feel safe now, because they look after you like family."


Afghans Seek Mining Know-how

AFGHANISTAN is looking to the Australian mining industry for instruction and investment as the war-torn nation stakes its stability and economic future on the success of its nascent natural resources sector.

An Afghan Ministry of Mines delegation will tour Australia in coming weeks on an industry roadshow to convince Australian mining companies that the opportunities for mineral exploitation outweigh the security risks.

The government is also seeking Australian expertise in the creation of an Afghan school of mines. Mines Minister Wahidullah Shahrani said, "Australia is a model for us." read more...


U.S. Unlikely to Ease Restrictions on Myanmar's Gems

A trader looks at jade stones at the Mid-Year Emporium for gems in December at an emporium hall in Naypyitaw.

The Wall Street Journal - Southeast Asia

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that the U.S. will start easing some of its most rigorous economic restrictions on Myanmar following the country’s April 1 by-elections, which came amid continuing political reforms in the country. Does this mean Americans will soon be able to start legally buying Myanmar’s world-renowned gems, which are currently blocked by law in the U.S.? It seems unlikely, at least in the short term. Despite those restrictions, gems have remained an enormous business for Myanmar, since it continues to sell them to buyers in China and elsewhere. It is estimated that the country, formerly known as Burma, produces some 90% of the global ruby supply by value, for example.

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